How to Know if Your Child is Being Bullied

Every day in the US alone there are nearly 30,000 kids that are teased, isolated or physically attacked by their peers and most parents aren’t even aware it is happening.  Kids hesitate to report bullying for fear that the situation will only get worse or they feel inadequate because they can’t handle the situation by themselves.  As a parent you need to know if your child is being bullied so let’s take a look at some of the signs of bullying.

  • Doesn’t want to go to school anymore despite the fact they like school
  • Frequently complains of stomach aches
  • Their grades start to drop and they lose enthusiasm
  • Frequently losing pieces of clothing or possession, alternatively they may be coming home with their things broken
  • Afraid of new people
  • Nightmares or bed wetting
  • Hard time making new friends
  • Won’t defend themselves when they are teased or criticized
  • Physical bruises

What to do

All or any of these may be signs of bullying or they could indicate that something else is going on, either way you need to get to the root of the problem.  Here are some steps you can take to try and help your child.

  1. Start Listening: You need to listen actively to your child and any complaints about school that they might have.  Once your child finally tells you about the situation at school there is a good chance it has been going on for months.
  2. Take Action: If the bullying is taking place at school then the first thing you need to do is discuss the situation with the teachers and the principal.  Contact the other child’s parents.  They probably don’t know that their child is behaving like a bully.  Schools are aware that bullying is a problem and have policies in place to help parents deal with the issue.
  3. Talk to Your Child: You have to sit down and explain to your child how bullying works and let them know they aren’t powerless.  Encourage them to tell you or the teacher if the situation continues and let them that the bully doesn’t have the right to intimidate them.  Help them with assertiveness skills and building their confidence

Don’t encourage your child to just hit back although that may go against your instincts, that can make the situation worse and both children can end up facing disciplinary action at school.  Furthermore by telling your child that this is the solution to bullying increases their anxiety and they won’t come to you with future problems.  If the situation persists then it may be time to talk to a professional to get some help.  Bullying is a serious issue and should never be tolerated.

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