Amongst the constant worries that are floating around in the mind of a parent at all times, there is the worry of bullying.
You can’t even fathom anyone intentionally hurting your kid, but in this day an age, bullying has unfortunately become a staple in the lives of some kids.
If you are one of the parents that have had the heart-wrenching experience of seeing your child cry from being bullied, you’re probably wondering “why do people bully others?”, and” what causes them to do to it?”
If you are a parent who suspects that their child is being bullied but doesn’t have any proof or has a child that will not talk to them about it, there are some signs that you can look for and there are a multitude of organizations that can help.
At Twin Cities Kids Club, we focus on supporting parents in the Twin Cities by providing helpful information as well as discounts to nearby events and activities. We want to be your go-to for all things parenting and Twin Cities.
If you suspect your child is a victim of bullying, you will want to open up a dialogue with him or her right away. To have an efficient and proactive conversation, getting informed about what bullying looks like is essential.
Bullying is any behavior that is aggressive and unwanted that happens frequently. It usually takes place amongst school age children and involves the balance of power with an individual or a group.
Those who bully use their physical strength or reputation to hold influence or harm others. Sometimes, those who bully have access to embarrassing information about their victims and use it to wield power over them.
What Does Bullying Look Like?
Actions that bullies take when they are trying to harm others repeatedly include:
- Attacking someone physically, whether in or out of school
- Attacking someone verbally (name-calling, teasing, etc.)
- Talking negatively about someone to others or spreading rumors about them in person or on social media.
- Singling out an individual or excluding them from group activities.
Bullying can be verbal, emotional/psychological, physical, or electronic (such as cyberbullying).
Signs of Bullying
Even if your child is not sharing about what’s going on at school, but you suspect there is bullying going on, check for the following signs:
Decreased Interest in School
Students that are being bullied often begin to lose interest in school activities, lose focus of their schoolwork, and as a consequence, their grades start to plummet.
If your child has typically had a strong academic performance at school, but now their grades are slipping, start having a conversation with them about what the likely reasons may be.
Increased Health Issues
If your child starts to say routinely that they have headaches or stomach aches or that they need to stay home from school due to illness, this is a possible sign that they are trying to avoid a bullying situation at school.
Not only can anxiety about getting bullied manifest itself as headaches and stomach aches for kids, but kids can also use their health as a way to justify them staying home; When a child gets bullied, they will not want to be at school, so home becomes their haven.
Avoidance of Friends or Social Events
Kids increasingly become isolationists when bullied. Many times those that are perpetrating the bullying are former friends of your child and will cause them to exclude themselves from groups or social events.
If your son or daughter is no longer speaking to their best friends and does not want to do any extracurricular school activities, bullying might be the culprit.
Bullying is cited as an increasing factor in the emergence of self-destructive behaviors amongst children. Bullying can lead to your child harming themselves, talking of suicide, or trying to run away.
Constant bullying and exclusion can cause your child to have low self-esteem and to feel helpless. Because their school environment is such an integral part of their daily life, they can’t see past the bullying and begin to feel helpless.
Lack of Sleep
Children who are bullied, physically, or emotionally tend to lose sleep over the situation. They cannot sleep because they are trying to find solutions to the events that are taking place.
Many times, victims of bullying begin to have nightmares when they can finally sleep. If they sleep talk, you might be able to hear some of what they are dreaming about and might get some insight into what’s going on that way.
Injuries and Destroyed Property
For those children suffering from physical abuse from a bully, it is prevalent to find unexplainable bruising or injuries on their bodies. For example, bruises on their legs or face if they have been kicked or punched.
In the same vein, if you find your child’s property suddenly looking trashed or if it goes missing, that can be a sign of bullying. Bullies who are aggressive physically sometimes take their victim’s property or destroy it to feel more powerful.
Changing Eating Habits
Some children begin to skip lunch when they are getting bullied or choose to spend their lunchtime in classrooms to avoid bullies. Children, as a result, come home famished and extremely hungry, and might even lose weight as a result.
What are Targeted Individuals?
Generally speaking, kids that get targeted:
- Have perceived low self-esteem and are seen as weak
- Are regarded as different from their peers, based on anything such as weight, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, what they wear, etc.
- Are new to a school or do not have a lot of friends
Although your child might fall under one of these categories, that does not necessarily mean that they will get bullied, it can put them in the targeted individuals’ area.
Twin Cities Kids Club
By attending events around the Twin Cities, especially events promoted to our club, you will meet other parents going through the same journey as you. These parents can be a resource, as well as a support. Join the club today.