There is no single final list of warning signs that a child is bullied, but there are categories of symptoms that parents can use to determine whether a child is being bullied.
Signs that a child is experiencing bullying can include:
Missing expensive electronics
Bruises and wounds that are not explained
Emotional outbursts at home
Depression and withdrawal
Hungry when they come home
Changes in self-esteem and grades are another set of great indicators that can suggest someone may be bullying a child.
A parent’s best weapon is eternal vigilance and a willingness to ask the hard questions.
When a Change May Signal Bullying
Radical changes in a child’s routines, beliefs, desires and activities may reveal bullying activity. These radical changes can include:
Beginning alcohol or drug abuse
Beginning to cut class or school
Dropping a favored artistic, athletic or academic event
Developing unexplained headaches, stomachaches and anxieties
Becoming moody, irritable or withdrawn
Parents should pay attention to when sudden changes in behavior and routine occur and question their kids in order to determine what is driving the change.
Many students who are being bullied will not be able to discuss it and so they found other ways to express their pain and fear. Many of these ways can be detrimental to their physical, mental or academic wellbeing.
Sudden changes can signal a cry for help.
If You Suspect Bullying, Act Quickly
Parents may sometimes wait for confirmation before doing anything about bullying. Unfortunately, by the time true confirmation occurs, it may be too late.
Parents should intervene as soon as the symptoms of bullying reveal themselves so that the activity can be stopped before the child is harmed.
Asking direct questions about unexplained bruises or changes in routine and following up with additional questions can give children the opportunity to share the fears and concerns.