Is your child being bullied and what can you do?
In recent times, we have heard of increasing cases of bullying within our schools. Children are being abused each day and many are unable to cope, resulting in poor academic performance, depressed mood; self-mutilation and in extreme cases suicidal attempts. It is imperative that parents are aware of the signs that their child may be a victim of bullying; this way no child will have to suffer in silence.
Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied
Here are possible warnings that a child may be bullied and needs your support. Of course, these signs could indicate other problems, but any of these warrant looking into further. Every child is different and any child can have an “off” day, so look instead for a pattern of behavior that is not typical for your child.
1. Unexplained physical marks, cuts, bruises and scrapes
2. Unexplained loss of toys, school supplies, clothing, lunches, or money
3. Clothes, toys, books, electronic items are damaged or missing or child reports mysteriously “losing” possessions
4. Doesn’t want to go to school or other activities with peers
5. Afraid of riding the certain buses or walking in certain places
6. Afraid to be left alone: wants you there at dismissal, suddenly clingy
7. Suddenly sullen, withdrawn, evasive; remarks about feeling lonely
8. Marked change in typical behavior or personality
9. Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed and that mood lasts with no known cause
10. Physical complaints; headaches, stomachaches, frequent visits the school sick room or calls to parents to pick them up from school
11. Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, cries self to sleep, bed wetting
12. Change in eating habits
13. Begins bullying siblings or younger kids. (Bullied children can sometimes flip their role and become the bully.)
14. Waits to get home to use the bathroom. (School bathrooms, are often not adult-supervised, making them hot spots for bullying).
15. Suddenly has fewer friends or doesn’t want to be with the “regular group”
16. Ravenous when he comes home. (Bullies can use extortion; stealing a victim’s lunch money or lunch.)
17. Sudden and significant drop in grades. (Bullying can cause a child to have difficulty focusing and concentrating.)
18. Blames self for problems; feels “not good enough”
19. Talks about feeling helpless or about suicide; runs away.
20. Cutting themselves
(To be continued next week)