Cyberbullies

Cyberbullies
Dr. Phil checks in with the two families competing in the Ultimate Family Weight Loss Challenge.

When Clay Aiken left Raleigh, N.C. to compete on American Idol, little did he know his life was about to change forever. Clay went on to finish second in the final show, and a few months later, his debut album, "Measure of a Man," went platinum. Clay won an American Music Award and a Billboard Music Award.

Since then, Clay has opened up about some of the less thrilling moments of his life, like the pain of being a constant target of bullies in grade school. Their cruel comments became so unbearable he spent a lot of time praying to be "invisible."

Clay is now committed to making sure other victims of bullying will find their voice, just as he found his.

Dr. Phil welcomes Clay to the show and notes that he has just written a book called Learning to Sing. He asks him about his experience growing up.


"Everybody has trouble with middle school," he acknowledges. "It's about finding out who you are and being happy with who you are, because everybody in middle school is confused ... Everybody's so insecure."

"You say in your book, 'When I was young, I was teased by other

kids like it was their job,'" Dr. Phil reads.


"It's about being comfortable with who you are. And once I figured that out, 'Who cares what people think about me?' I know my parents love me. I know I have friends who love me. I love myself," Clay says. "I think once you have that and you carry it with you, everybody wants to know, 'What is it that he's got that I don't have?' Everybody's insecure. They were picking on me because they didn't have anything about them that they could be proud of."


Clay found his place in the world through music. "When I was in ninth grade, I was the only guy in choir, and so people picked on me for that," Clay explains. "They stopped picking on me when I found something that I was good at and I was proud of what I was doing ... When you carry it and you own it, people notice."

"It's not just letting other people know who you are; you have to be at peace with that yourself," Dr. Phil explains. "It doesn't matter

whether it's basketball or collecting stamps. If you know, 'This is who I am and this is what I do,' then how much other people think about you and what they say begins to fade away. You don't care so much about that."

Just as bullies gang up on others, a group mentality can get the bullies to leave you alone also. If everyone that is being ganged up on sticks together and fights back, then the bullies will have to find other people to taunt. Clay explains, "The people who are doing the bad things stick together, so imagine if the people who are doing the good things stick together as well. It's going to be even stronger."


"Each of you has got to reach and find that one friend that you can talk to," Dr. Phil tells Mark and Tess. "You don't want to be isolated."

"I've been looking forever," Tess says, explaining that when she finds a friend it only lasts for a little while. The friend eventually tells her that they, "can't take the pressure."

"That's so gutless," Dr. Phil says.

Dr. Phil introduces Kevin Storr, from i-SAFE America, a non-profit foundation dedicated to educating and empowering the youth of America

and their families on the Internet.


"The biggest thing, I can't emphasize more to parents, whether your child is the bully or your child is being bullied, is to get the computers out of their bedroom. Because in the bedroom, it's just an open door for trouble."

Dr. Phil points out that there are programs parents can use to monitor their children on the Internet. "You need to know if your child is a bully," he emphasizes. "There are keystroke loggers, where every click of the mouse, every keystroke, a parent can look and see what their child is saying on the Internet and who they're saying it to."