Signs of Being Bullied

There have always been bullies in the world, but it seems in recent years bullying has gotten a lot worse. Perhaps it is just being recognized and addressed more than in years past, but the fact remains, children get bullied not only at school but at home, online and in other public locations.

So how do you know if your child is being bullied? There are certain warning signs that you can look for, including but certainly not limited to:

  • Frequent damage to or loss of clothing, books, or other belongings.
  • Injuries that they refuse to explain or offer a poor explanation for.
  • A noticeable decrease in self-esteem.
  • Frequent illnesses such as stomach aches or headaches.
  • Fake illnesses or acting scared to attend school, social functions or being left alone with a particular person.
  • Loss of interest in things they love, in their friends or schoolwork.
  • Changes in sleep patterns, having nightmares or bed wetting.
  • Personality changes such as being moody, overly sensitive, angry, depressed or disassociated.

While the above signs do not necessarily mean that your child is being bullied, they do indicate that something is causing your child stress. It’s important for you to talk openly and honestly with your child to try to figure out what is going on.

Don’t be afraid to ask them point blank if they’re being bullied at school. If they tell you that they are, tell your child to keep track of all bullying in a journal. Have them include the name of the people involved, when and where it happened, what the bullying was in as much detail as possible, and if anyone else witnessed the incident.

While they are documenting the incidents, you can take action immediately. If it’s happening at school, contact your child’s teacher and let them know of your concerns. Ask the teacher if they have seen any times when your child has been bullied. You may also ask if your child gets along with the other students in class besides the ones bullying.

If it’s happening at the bus stop or other school related activity, talk with the principal and find out what can be done. They should have bullying policies in place to help your child.

If the bullying is happening at sporting events or other community activities, speak with the director of those events to find out who is in charge of security. If you cannot attend the events, talk with family, friends or other parents who do attend to see if they can keep an eye out for any issues.

Of course, if it’s happening in your own home, you can immediately address the bully and take steps to get to the root of why they feel it is necessary to act that way.

No one wants their child to be bullied but it happens more often than we might think. Pay attention to your child and how they act. Talk to them if you see any changes in their behavior. If you’re concerned about your child being bullied, be sure to check out the resources below.

Resources:

[one-third-first]Amazon ImageBullying Hurts: Teaching Kindness Through Read Alouds and Guided Conversations[/one-third-first][one-third]Amazon ImageThe Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to HighSchool[/one-third][one-third]Amazon ImageSticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy[/one-third]

Comments

  1. We just had our first school bully experience with my Kindergartner, who has speech difficulties. It got nipped in the bud because the other children at the bus stop had been taught about bullying and told their parents, and a parent told me.

    I told the school and it was dealt with quickly and effectively. I feel fortunate that the boy who was doing the bullying came from a home where he was expected to treat others with respect and kindness, and he was so shocked to be labeled “mean” that he immediately stopped and is now nice to my son. I was worried about retaliation.

    Telling the school was not my impulse because of my fears. The story is here on my blog:
    http://www.able2able.com/2012/09/taking-l-out-of-bully.html

    The end of the story is that when his mother found out she brought him to my house. We were all crying! I told the boy that all his teachers and the neighborhood parents saw him as a respectful and kind person and thought this was unusual for him, and that I believed them. He is a good person who made a mistake. He had earned respect and still deserved it. I did not want him to feel that he was trapped in mean mode and thought it important that he walked away knowing he still had a choice.

    • Melody Spier says:

      Hi Anara,

      I read your blog post and am so glad to hear that you were able to effectively solve the problem. I think what you said about it being unusual for the other child to act like that holds true for some kids. They simply don’t realize how their words or actions affect someone else. In fact, I just posted an article about that a few days ago. You can read it here: http://raisingsmallsouls.com/teaching-kids-appropriate-communication-skills/

      Best of luck to you and your son!

      Melody

  2. Hi Melody,

    Thank you for sharing about bully….

    Some people may think this is usual things happen in school . My son had two times have been bullied in school in different grade and with different classmate. The other boy the one who bullied my son did not know if it’s bad things to do to other, they think it just only playing. But for the victim, it will affect very bad.
    It happens to my son in primary before i got this blog from you. Thanks God , i did almost the same that you said. And you’re right…

    I am glad the problems solved, because we had a good communication between his principal in school who take action immediately. But before we knew my son has been bullied, yes…we have to be sensitive to see the sign from our children, we have to talk hart to hart …to seek for the real story what happen at school.

    Thank you.

    • Melody Spier says:

      Venda,

      I’m glad you were able to solve the problem after speaking to the school principal. Hopefully if it happens again, your son will know to come directly to you so it can be stopped immediately.

      Melody

  3. My both of my grandson’s are being bullied at this school. Tomorrow I will go and speak with the principal and the parents of these children that are bullying my grandkids. They are being tripped on the school bus, sexuall fondled, and beaten. I have a very low tolerance for bullies; and hope to come to a quick resolution as I have read.