The Port Susan Middle School Counseling Program is an integral part of the total school environment. The counseling program encourages student growth in the areas of academics, social/emotional, personal, and career (goal setting).

Your school counselor: Keli Niegemann

Counselor's Corner- June 2018

With summer fast approaching, teens may be left with more time on their hands and may turn to social media more. While there are some wonderful advantages to this cyber world, it can also lead to emotional concerns, in the form of text messages and posts on Snapchat or other media options. Cyber bullying (social bullying) can be anonymous and regularly goes unreported. Teens are more likely to express things online that they might not say in person.

This type of bullying is increasingly common, especially among young teenage girls. A common characteristic of social bullying is that it usually takes place within groups. One child might turn an entire group against another person. In such cases, it's important to remember that bystanders are just as guilty as the leader. Teens need to be reminded not to become a social bully and also not to follow social bullying. It's important that adults who witness bullying, not use the excuse that "kids will be kids". Instead, they need to take an active role in stopping it.

Five signs that a child might be involved in social bullying:

Here are 5 signs that social bullying might be taking place among your child or their group of friends.

  1. Spreading of rumors or gossip. Malicious gossip can spread very quickly. Even if untrue, it can destroy a child's reputation and make it very hard for him or her to gain social acceptance.
  2. Deliberate exclusion or shunning. Girls excluding other girls from social activities, or forming cliques to intentionally reject or isolate former friends is a powerful and common method of social bullying.
  3. Hostile expressions or body language. Staring aggressively, making faces or derogatory gestures and taking hostile stances are subtle yet effective ways to intimidate, alienate, or reject others without making it obvious to teachers.
  4. Abusive messages. By just having access to social media, it can allow bullying to continue.

Do your best to be aware of what your teen is viewing and engaged in online. Have regular discussions with your teen about what is or isn't appropriate. When you hear about something that isn't acceptable, discuss why and what this can do to damage another person. Our teens need parent involvement more than ever before. Even though your child is becoming older, they need our guidance and wisdom.

Have a wonderful summer and enjoy this extra time with your teen!

Keli Niegemann


You may contact PSMS's Counselor, Keli Niegemann

at (360) 629-1360 or email at [email protected]