Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied

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bullying

Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied

Bullying has always existed, but with the advances in technology and kids growing up a lot faster than they did in our day, it seems like it’s gotten much worse. If you think your child may be experiencing bullying at school, it’s important to address it immediately. The longer you wait, the worse it can get. We’ve all read about the many suicides attributed to bullying, or seen them on the news – what if someone had noticed? What if someone had reached out? What if someone had put a stop to it? Be that person. Don’t let your child – or any others – slip through the cracks.

Signs Your Child is Being Bullied

Your child starts to lose interest in things he used to love, like a sport or certain school subject. This could be other things, too – like not understanding the material as it gets more difficult, or not being as good as the bigger kids at the sports, but it could also be that they’re being bullied. Chat with them about it, find out why they no longer love these things, and try to find something else for them to get interested in. Interests do change, so don’t jump the gun… but keep an eye on it.

Your child stops talking to most or all of their friends. Did your child just find a new circle of friends because their interests changed, or were they pushed out of their social circles by bullies? If your child used to be a social butterfly, but now she is withdrawn and rarely hangs out with friends, it’s time to find out why.

Your child is moody. Okay, so this one is a big maybe… because tweens get super moody for basically no reason at all. But if your child is getting moody, depressed, etc quite often, ask them about it. Don’t be accusatory, don’t be defensive. Just ask, and listen to their response.

Your child gets “sick” often. If your child is trying to stay home from school because he is “sick”, but he has no fever, and no outward signs of actual sickness (like a cough, runny nose, etc), he may be avoiding bullies at school. This happens more frequently than anyone would like to admit. Many kids miss several days of school each year because they are trying to steer clear of their bullies.

Questions to Ask Your Child if You Think They’re Being Bullied

Instead of just hammering at them, “Are you being bullied? Is someone being mean to you?”, ask questions in a more subtle way that will get them talking. If they won’t open up to you, try enlisting the help of your partner, one of your older kids, or even an aunt, uncle, or grandparent.

“How are you getting along with the kids at your new school? Have you made many friends? Tell me about them.”

“What kind of kids do you hang out with at school? Do they like sports like you do? What are they like?”

“You haven’t been as upbeat as you used to be, is there anything you need help with? Anything you’d like to chat about?”

Subtle questions are easier for most kids to answer, and it opens up the dialogue on their end without forcing it.

Sometimes it’s easier to write a note – especially for girls, they usually love to write! Write them a note asking them to tell you about their school experience. When they write back, it might give you some insight as to what they’re dealing with.

If all else fails, ask the school counselor or other trusted school staff if they think your child is being bullied. If they aren’t sure, they can keep an eye out and let you know – and intervene if necessary.

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