A significant number of children get bullied on every school day but not many parents are able to detect, as most kids are scared of relaying what they experience.
There are however a few signs parents should look out for if they suspect their kids are being bullied.
Reluctance To Go To School
Schools are the place where children get bullied the most and if your child seems reluctant to wake up and head out in the morning, there could be something amiss. With younger children, watch for recurring excuses to stay home, such as aches and pains.
With adolescents and teens, check in with teachers periodically to monitor attendance, as this age group is more likely to skip school altogether. Experts say Mondays are the most common day for wanting to avoid school. Kids tend to feel safer at home on the weekends, and the idea of going back on Monday is difficult for them.
If your child becomes nervous or anxious about what might happen the next day at school or elsewhere, they may be experiencing difficulty falling asleep, or anxious tossing and turning.
If a child seems more tired at breakfast or just looks more worn out than usual, those could be signs they’re having trouble sleeping at night. Also, an inability to focus or maintain proper hygiene can indicate anything from sleep issues to bullying and depression.
Intense Emotional Reactions
If a child or teen has intense emotional reactions towards conversations about school or social activities, they could be anxious as a result of being bullied.
Recurring Headaches and stomachaches
Children that are being bullied will commonly manifest headaches and stomachaches as a result of the stress and anxiety. Furthermore. They may also fake any of these ailments to stay home from school and other social activities.
If your child complains of these symptoms regularly, talk to them about it. Asking open-ending questions such as ‘You seem to be feeling sick a lot lately; can you tell me more about that?” helps to create a non-confrontational space where you can discuss the root of the problem.
A loss or change in friends could signal bullying, especially in adolescent and teen girls. Also, a reluctance to hang out with friends could signal bullying is taking place within a friend group.
You can stay aware to shifts within your child’s group of friends by connecting with other parents in their friend group. That way, it’s easier to notice when a child is left out of birthday parties and events, or other group invites.