How do I tell if my child is involved in bullying?
There are many warning signs that your youth may be involved in bullying; either by bullying others or by being bullied. These warning signs may be indicators of bullying but they may also indicate other issues or problems. Ask an experienced professional or your school for more information. Signs may include:
- Comes home with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings
- Reports losing items such as books, electronics, clothing, or jewelry
- Has unexplained injuries
- Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or feeling sick
- Trouble sleeping
- Changes in eating habits
- Are very hungry after school from not eating their lunch
- Loses interest in playing with friends
- Is afraid of going to school or other activities
- Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed when they come home
- Acts differently from their usual self
What can I do?
- Encourage them to talk
- Listen to them
- Believe what they tell you
- Support them
- Contact the school
- Look for outside resources, including the Dispute Resolution Center
- Follow up with your child
- Stay with it until the matter is resolved
What is bullying?
Although definitions of bullying vary, most agree that bullying involves:
- Aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions
- A pattern of behavior repeated over time
- An imbalance of power or strength
What are examples of bullying?
- Name-calling, teasing
- Spreading rumors, leaving people out on purpose, breaking up friendships
- May be physical: hitting, punching, shoving
- Cyberbullying: using the Internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to harm others