Bullying Warning Signs For Parents

Warning Signs That Your Child or Teen is Being Bullied

Lonely Teenage Girl
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Quick Links: High School Survival Guide | Quiz: Is your child a bully?

Parents may not know if something is bothering their teen, or it may seem to them like it could be any one of a number of things. But, when a teen is being bullied it is important that we make it a point to know the difference and help. Always start with a conversation, ask your teen what is going on and try to remain calm. And be on the lookout for these possible warning signs that a child is being bullied:

  • You notice torn, damaged or missing pieces of clothing, books, book bags or other belongings. This tends to be a big sign that teens are unable to explain away and may break down when asked. Remain calm and show your teen you care by listening to the full story.
  • Your child comes home with cuts, bruises and scratches. First aid is your first concern here. After the hurts have been taken care of, then talk to your teen about what happened. Give them time to tell you and remain calm.
  • Has few, if any friends, with whom he or she spends time. While this warning sign is still true these days, it isn't necessarily true for all kids and teens. Teens with friends and who are active in sports or other school activities are not immune to being bullied by another social crowd. Hec, sometimes even friends do the bullying.
  • Seems afraid of going to school, walking to and from school or riding the school bus. Ask your teen if this is where they are experiencing the bullying problem. If so, talk to the bus driver and school then change their routine. There is no reason your child or teen should have to deal with bullies on the way to school and you need to make the administrators know that you feel that way.
  • Takes a long, "illogical" route when walking to or from school. If this is a way for your child to avoid the bully, they have found a way to avoid being hurt which is a very positive way of handling the bully - your child is allowing the bully to own their problems and not getting involved. But, you will need to talk to your teen and let them know that avoiding a bully or gang of them is smart, as your teen will need to feel more confident about it instead of feeling like he is running away.
  • Appears sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home. Ask what happened that day to make them so sad. Share that when they are sad, you feel bad too and you want to help them with whatever is hurting them. Offer to do something with them that will help you both feel better. If they decline, ask them to do it anyway. Explain to your child or teen that sometimes even though we don't feel like making ourselves feel better, doing something that makes us laugh or remember that we are loved is just what we need.
  • Has lost interest in school work or suddenly begins to do poorly in school. Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical ailments. Appears anxious, has a loss of appetite or as trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams. These are warning signs of depression and mean the bullying your teen or child is experiencing is getting down deep into their self-esteem and making them feel worthless. Combating this with positive hits to their self-esteem is important.

    Quick Links: High School Survival Guide | Quiz: Is your child a bully?

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