Children may be being bullied if they:
- Don’t want to go to school or do things with their friends
- Are afraid of riding the school bus
- Are afraid to be left alone and want you there at the end of the school day and become clingy
- Suddenly become bad-tempered, more quiet than usual, talk about feeling lonely
- Show big changes from the way they usually act
- Appear sad, moody, angry, stressed or depressed and that mood lasts for no known reason
- Have unexplained physical marks, cuts, bruises and scrapes
- Have physical complaints; headaches, stomachaches, frequent visits the school nurse’s office
- Wait to get home to use the bathroom.
- Have unexplained loss of toys, school supplies, clothing, lunches, or money
- Have clothes, toys, books, electronic items are damaged or they "lose" their things at school
- Have difficulty sleeping, nightmares, cry self to sleep, bed wetting
- Change their eating habits
- Begin bullying younger children.
- Suddenly have fewer friends or don’t want to be with the "regular group"
- Get home from school and are very hungry because they didn’t eat lunch
- Have sudden, large drop in grades.
- Blame self for problems; feel like they are "not good enough"
- Talk about feeling helpless or about suicide; runs away
There’s a good chance your children won’t tell you they are being bullied or other children are calling them names. Instead, children may say they don’t want to go to school. If this seems to be happening a lot, consider the possibility that bullying might be the reason behind the sick days.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Talk about the problem. Encourage children to talk about it. Sometimes, they will feel embarrassed so it is important to keep children talking. It may be helpful to have other family members talk about the times they were bullied too. Be sure you do not get upset or this may keep your children from talking.
- Use the buddy system. It is more difficult for a bully to bother children when they are with others so tell children to stay by friends. Also, they should stay nearby adults to they can call on adults if the bullying continues
- Help children understand bullies want a reaction. Remind children to stay calm and not pay attention to hurtful remarks or walk away.
- Don’t talk to the bully’s parents. Let school staff know what is happening and have them deal with the parents of the bully.
- Learn what the school policy is on bullying and be sure the school follows it