Parent Awareness: Decoding the Signs of Bullying in Children
Bullying in America is a serious issue. With the overwhelming statistical data, parenting a child who has previously or is currently experiencing harassment or bullying behavior at school is a job most of us are simply not prepared for. There is no formal rulebook or manual to equip parental figures with the proper education, coping skills and safety plans necessary to effectively guide children to the other side of this epidemic.
While every situation is different, parents can find peace of mind in knowing that, if their child is the victim of or is involved in bullying behavior, specific signs will almost always be present. In this article, New Hope will address the major warning signs of bullying behavior and provide information to better arm parents in our community with the ability to identify and alleviate these tense situations before they become dangerous.
Understanding and recognizing the red flags is a critical step in the prevention of bullying. It is important to understand that not all children affected by bullying will ask for help or even realize the treatment they are receiving is abusive or bullying behavior. With this in mind, the responsibility of parents and authoritative figures in our schools to take action against bullying is significantly magnified.
Possible signs of bullying include:
- The child comes home with unexplained injuries or missing belongings
- The child suddenly exhibits a loss of interest in school work and/or begins receiving poor grades
- The child appears irritable, sad or depressed when he or she gets home
- Frequent complaints of headaches, stomachaches or other physical ailments that would permit staying home from school
- The child appears to have lower self-esteem, trouble sleeping and seems anxious, particularly before going to school
While the presence of these symptoms may not always mean the child is struggling with bullies, it is critical that the possibility is considered. If you suspect he or she is being bullied, talk with your child and the school staff to learn more. Watch for upcoming posts on New Hope’s blog for tips to open a dialogue with your child on the issue of bullying including specific things you should and should not say to effectively put a stop to the bullying.
If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t discount the problem. Get help now.