Bullying and its lasting effects are becoming a prevalent issue in communities all across America. The sobering reality is that more than 150,000 students skip school each day to avoid being harassed, attacked or intimidated by other students (Character.org, 2012). A growing concern is the rising number of instances of bullying going unreported. Statistics show that an adult was alerted in less than 40% of bullying incidents (StopBullying. 2018).
There are several reasons why children and adolescents do not feel comfortable talking to adults about being bullied. Students can fear appearing weak or being called “tattletale” or “snitch.” Victims of bullying may also fear repercussions from the bully. Sometimes, kids are resilient and even after being frequently bullied they try to handle the situation on their own. It may be that the child being bullied already feels alone and like no one would understand or care about them.
Whatever the reason for a victim’s silence, it is important that we be aware of the signs of bullying and be responsive. As adults, we can make sure that our youth no longer suffer in silence. Here are twenty signs that a child may be bullied:
- Unexplainable injuries
- Frequent headaches
- Stomach aches
- Bed wetting
- Avoiding school
- Decline in grades
- Loss of friends
- Avoidance of social situations
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, etc.
- Feelings of depression
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulty sleeping
- Self-destructive behavior (harming one’s self, running away)
- Fear of being left alone
- Afraid of riding bus (tries to be late for school or purposefully misses the bus)
- Refuses to use the restroom in public places
- Sudden increase in appetite at home
- Begins to pick on siblings at home
- Frequent visits to the nurse’s office
- Changes their walking route to school
Until victims of bullying know that they are supported by their community, it is up to us to take heed to the signs that indicate that someone is affected by bullying. Recognizing the warning signs of bullying can often be the first step in helping a child or teenager. Victims of bullying might not feel comfortable talking about their problems. But if we know these signs and pay attention to our youth, we will be able to proactively address bullying.
My next blog will discuss how to understand bullies. I hope that you will continue to subscribe to this series. As always, stay informed. Stay involved.
Character.org (2012). What’s Happening in Character? Retrieved from http://www.character.org
StopBullying.gov (2018). Warning signs for bullying. Retrieved from https://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/warning-signs/index.html
Blog Author : Dr. P. K. Wayne