Warning Signs for Bullying
There are many warning signs that may indicate someone is affected by bullying, either being bullied or bullying others.
It is important to talk with children who show signs of being bullied or bullying others. Talking to the child can help identify the root of the problem.
Why don't kids ask for help?
Adults are notified in less than half (40%) of bullying incidents. Kids don’t tell adults for many reasons:
Bullying can make a child feel helpless. They may fear being seen as weak or a tattletale.
Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied them.
Bullying can be a humiliating experience as well as fear that adults will judge them or punish them for being weak.
They may feel like no one cares or could understand. Kids who are bullied may already feel socially isolated.
Kids may fear being rejected by their peers.
Signs a Child Is Being Bullied
Look for changes in the child. However, be aware that not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs.
Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:
Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating.
Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
Signs a Child is Bullying Others
Kids may be bullying others if they:
Get into physical or verbal fights
Have friends who bully others
Are increasingly aggressive
Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
Blame others for their problems
Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity
[taken in part from stopbullying.gov]