There are many warning signs of bullying, some are more subtle than others, but they can all point to a case of bullying.
As far as obvious signs, if you notice that your child frequently comes home with damaged belongings, torn clothes, or is missing property, this may indicate that they are the victim of bullying. Taking or damaging property is a way that children bully each other as well as physically harming their victim. Likewise, if your child frequently comes home with unexplained bruises, scrapes, and other injuries they may be a victim of bullying.
If your child has few friends or is withdrawing from friends they once associated with, they may be the victim of bullying. While friends do come and go throughout school, sudden decreases in friendships may indicate that your child is a victim of bullying. Children who are bullied often withdraw from things they once cared about because of the stress of their situation. Less popular children are also at an increased risk for bullying so if your child has problems making friends they may be a target for bullying.
A sudden unexplained fear of going to school or a sudden loss of interest in school and activities may also indicate that your child is the victim of bullying. Children are often hesitant to talk about bullying experiences and instead become afraid or uninterested in things they once liked. If you find that your child refuses to talk about school or other activities where bullying could take place this is also a sign that your child could be the victim of bullying. If your child is reluctant to talk about their experiences, reassure them that no matter what is going on you are there to help and can only make the situation better.
Another sign that your child may be the victim of bullying is mood swings, depression, or unexplained illnesses and complaints of aches and pains. Children who are the victims of bullying will often make up excuses why they do not want to go to school or come home in a bad mood. Children will typically try to avoid situations where they are being bullied using these excuses and it is a classic indicator of a bullying problem, especially if these problems happen unexpectedly.
If ignored, these symptoms can cause a child who is the victim of bullying to lose self esteem and do poorly in school. While these symptoms are not always caused by bullying, they are common signs that bullying has occurred. If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, you should further investigate to see what the cause of the problem is and to find ways to solve it. Children often do not want adult help because they fear that it will only make the situation worse. If they refuse to talk to you, consider consulting your child’s teacher to get better insight into what is going on.