Unfortunately, your children are not with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s important to know the warning signs your child may display if they are being bullied away from home.
This could happen with other neighborhood children, at school, church or anywhere they are left with other children, and even adults.
Not all children will display signs of being bullied, but these are some typical signs to look for. If you are worried that your child may be the victim of bullying, we’ll also tell you some ways to deal with it.
- Reoccurring injuries that your child cannot explain, doesn’t want to talk about or has difficulty explaining.
- Returning home with lost or damaged belonging such as their clothing, books, electronics, and toys.
- Feeling sick or faking sick to avoid situations with other children such as going to school.
- Coming home from school hungry due to not having lunch or displaying different eating habits which could range from binge eating to skipping meals.
- Having nightmares and difficulty sleeping.
- Losing interest in their schoolwork and not wanting to go to school or ride the bus.
- Avoiding social situations or sudden loss of friends.
- Displays bullying signs of their own against younger kids or siblings could be a sign they are mimicking what is happening to them elsewhere.
- Self-destructive behaviors such as hurting themselves, running away from home, talking about suicide or blaming themselves.
- Decreased self-esteem and signs of depression or feeling helpless.
How to Deal with Bullying
First of all, don’t ignore the problem if you suspect your child is being bullied. If you believe or have been told the bullying is occurring at school or on the bus, speak with the teacher, school counselor, school principal and/or school superintendent.
Be sure they are aware of the problem and are communicating the corrective action that is being taken to stop the bullying. Don’t be afraid to work your way up the ladder or go as far as the State Department of Education if the bullying does not cease.
Even if your child is not yet the victim of bullying it’s important that you talk to them about it and keep the lines of communication open. When talking with them, be sure they know what to do and know they can come to you if they are faced with a situation that is making them uncomfortable.