How To Tell If Your Child Is Being Bullied

Sad kid

Children can be bullied in many ways – physically, verbally, emotionally, and now, through cyberbullying. While some children don’t show any signs that they are victims of bullying, generally, there are some common things to look for.

8 Signs That Your Child Is Being Bullied

  • Injuries that can’t be explained by an accident.
  • Clothing, books, or personal belongings destroyed or missing.
  • Frequent minor ailments like headaches or stomach aches.
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits.
  • Declining grades, not being interested in school, or not wanting to go to school.
  • Avoiding social situations or friends.
  • Decreased self-esteem or engaging in self-destructive behavior.
  • Appearing sad or depressed when he or she comes home from school.

It’s common for children who are being bullied not to ask for help or talk about the situation for fear of making it worse. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an adult was notified in just 40 percent of bullying incidents in 2012.

There are many reasons why kids keep bullying to themselves:

  • They feel helpless or don’t want to be seen as weak.
  • They fear a backlash from the bully.
  • They fear adults will blame them for being weak.
  • They may feel it’s their fault.
  • They feel their peers may reject them.

If you think your child is being bullied, it’s important to take it seriously. Don’t be tempted to brush it off as “kids being kids.” Bullying can seriously affect a child’s self-worth and safety.

Just listen to the news, and you’ll hear that in severe cases, bullying leads to tragedies, such as suicide, school shootings, and even criminal activities.

Remember that your child’s school likely has bullying policies and anti-bullying programs. The best course of action for you is to contact someone at the school—principal, nurse, or counselor—who has the expertise to help you.

author name

Eric F. Hussar, MD

Eric F. Hussar, MD, is a family medicine doctor with LG Health Susquehanna Family Medicine. Dr. Hussar’s areas of expertise include chronic disease management, obstetrics, pediatrics, and suboxone therapy.

Education: Medical School—Temple University; Residency—Lancaster General Hospital.

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About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.

 

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