7 Predictors Your Child Is Being Bullied

Do not miss this subtle signs of bullying

iStock_000057054868Medium.jpg
iStockphoto

Bullying is an embarrassing experience for most kids. As a result, they are often too humiliated and ashamed to say something about it. Even if you have a great relationship with your child, he still may withhold information from you. Consequently, parents sometimes have to play detective when they notice something amiss with their kids. Here are seven predictors of bullying that you should watch for in your kids.

More time spent at home. If your once very social teen is now spending more and more time at home alone it is time to take notice. Sometimes friendships come to an end because kids change and grow apart. Other times, friends will desert someone who is being bullied. Be sure you ask why your child is not hanging out with friends any longer.

Dropping grades. Bullying makes it difficult for kids to concentrate on their studies. As a result, when a child is repeatedly bullied, there is usually a drop in grades even for academically strong students. If your child’s grades are dropping, it may be a good idea to dig a little deeper before you lay out the consequences. Be sure you know why her grades are dropping before you discipline your child.

Physical symptoms. Complaints of stomachaches, headaches, insomnia and loss of appetite should always be taken seriously. Sometimes these physical symptoms are a sign of a medical condition.

So be sure your pediatrician evaluates your child. However, if your child’s doctor cannot find a medical explanation for your child’s physical complaints, then it may be time to investigate into other causes. Many times, bullying causes stress and anxiety that manifests itself in physical issues.

Obsessively checking social media.

When kids are being cyberbullied, they will often check their social media accounts excessively. Even though they may know that the hurtful posts will only cause them more pain, kids often cannot help themselves. They feel like they have to know what others are saying about them. If you notice your child is more interested in social media than usual, be sure you investigate to see what is going on.

Getting noticeably upset after reading text messages. A lot of bullying takes place under the radar and can be hard for parents and teachers to detect. If you notice your child is visibly upset after reading a text message, ask a few questions. Try to determine if she is just having a disagreement with a friend or if she is receiving threatening or abusive text messages.

Withdrawing from family activities. If your child has always been one to enjoy time with the family and then suddenly no longer wants to hang out with you, find out why. Sometimes kids preferences change, but other times this lack of involvement is a sign that something in their life is amiss.

Determine if your child is withdrawing because she no longer finds playing Scrabble fun or if her withdrawal is a symptom of bullying. You should also watch for signs of depression. Withdrawing from others also is a sign that your child may be struggling with depression. Do not delay in getting your child evaluated by a physician.

Excessive worry about what others think. Many times, victims of bullying believe they can change the way they look or act in order to keep from being bullied. As a result, they will get frustrated over their hair, their clothing and even their body shape or appearance. They also may seem embarrassed by the family car, their siblings and even their parents. All of these concerns are an attempt to change something about their lives in order to keep bullying at bay. But the truth is bullying is not about something defective in them that needs to be changed. Bullying is a choice made by the bully.

Continue Reading