Ten Signs Your Child May Be a Target of Bullying

1-Refusal or reluctance to go to school.

  • Child may make excuses to stay home such as a head or stomach ache, a sore throat or a cough. You may receive phone calls from the school for early pick up.

2-Trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep.

  • Children who may be worried about what might happen at school the next day could have difficulty falling or staying asleep.  If your child appears worn out of tired on a regular basis, they could be the target of bullying.

3-Frequent bouts of minor illnesses.

  • Frequents coughs, colds, headaches, allergies and rashes are manifestations of anxiety and stress related to bullying.

4-Reluctance to spend time with friends or a change in friends.

  • Reluctance to hang out with friends can be a sign of bullying within their friend group.  If they start getting left out of activities or refuse to attend group activities, that may also be a sign of bullying.

5-Missing items of value.

  • If your child has suddenly “lost track” of valuable items like cell phones, tablets, games, clothing items, library books or lunch money, they may have been the target of a bully.

6-Physical bruises and/or torn clothing.

  • Unexplained cuts and bruises along with torn clothes may be signs that your child is the target of a physical bully.

7-Crying and other intensive emotional reactions.

  • If your child overreacts during conversations about school or social activities, it could be a sign of anxiety about bring bullied.

8-Obsession with or withdrawal from use of electronic devices.

  • If your child is being bullied via text messages, emails, phone calls, or social media posts (known as cyberbullying), they may refuse to use or become obsessed with using electronic devices.

9-Reluctance to interact with siblings and other family members.

  • If your child is suddenly not talkative or spends more time alone in their room or acts out with siblings, it may be a sign of sibling bullying.

10-Taking on a victim stance.

  • Children who lack the skills to stand up for themselves often take on a “victim” posture-walking with their hand down and shoulders slumped.  They barely speak and fall to make eye contact.

Please be aware that not every child who exhibits any of these behaviors or engages in any of these activities is a bully or will be a target for bullying.  These are simply guidelines to help you understand the behaviors that may drive bullying behaviors.

The most important step you can take to help your child avoid bullying situations is to make sure that you are communicating with them on a regular basis.  Open and honest communication with your child will help them to feel confident in coming to you when a problem arises.