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10 Signs Your Child Might be Getting Bullied
The 2012 film Bully documents five young people and their families over the course of a school year. Stories focus on children, teachers, parents, schools, and the cruel world of the bullied child. The struggle to find answers and to help kids on both sides of the equation raises difficult questions that can’t be avoided.
Growing up is a challenge, but bullying is a hardship that must not be dismissed as either expected or lacking significance. It’s critical that we learn to understand the signs of bullying and be completely aware on behalf of our children. Here are 10 (of many) signs that your child might be getting bullied.
1. Comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings.
The less reasonable your child’s explanation, the more likely bullying is involved.
2. Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick, or faking illness, especially in the mornings.
This could either be to avoid the bullying or as a result of the bullying. Typically, it’s both.
3. Changes in eating habits.
Skipping meals, unable to eat meals, or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
4. Difficulty sleeping, frequent nightmares, or complaints of headaches.
Processing the abuse can take a toll even when sleep should provide rest and healing.
5. Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school.
Simply put, it’s tough to concentrate on anything else when anxiety is working in the background.
6. Loss of friends or avoidance of social situations.
Victims often lose the few friends they have. Other kids don’t want to be associated with victims or they’re afraid it’s “catching.” Victims seldom become “loners” by choice.
7. Feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem.
This may include anxiety-based behavior and self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about hurting themselves.
8. Generalized fear.
Your child may seem afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus, or taking part in organized activities with peers (such as clubs).
9. Appears sad.
Not just sad, but moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home. A huge part of this is that he or she won’t talk about what’s wrong.
10. Begins to bully other children.
This is a disturbing sign that’s often a natural consequence of being bullied. Victims may begin to take it out on siblings or weaker friends and become aggressive and uncooperative with their parents.