RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Since the start of the pandemic child psychology experts say they’ve seen more patients experience cyberbullying. 

Before the pandemic, social media was a part of teenagers’ lives, but since COVID-19 experts say it has only become more popular. Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Tropical Texas Behavioral Health, Dr.  Daniel Gutierrez has started changing his approach to his patients. 

“Before I would say is there any bullying at school, now I specify is there any social bullying.” Gutierrez goes on to say, “I always try to define ‘tell me what you’re talking about’ so I can understand a little bit better what it is and what type of skills you may need to try to deal with these things.

He admits for teens it isn’t always easy to talk about what is happening to them virtually. 

“Teenage – adolescent children might feel uncomfortable bringing it up and they’re suffering through the bullying. Sometimes you need an adult intervention,” said Gutierrez. 

Gutierrez suggests teens switch up their online habits and spend some time outdoors. When it comes to resources, Gutierrez believes there should be an app to prevent and track cyberbullying. 

In the meantime – he suggests parents become more involved with children and their social media habits. He says simply having a conversation can make a difference.