Signs and Symptoms of Bullying: How to Know if a Child Is Being Bullied

As the Jennifer Livingston of WKBT video goes viral, I feel its the perfect time to share some bullying signs to help you identify if your child is being bullied. If you haven’t already, I urge you to watch the video below and comment. I’d love to hear your take!

Bullying is intentional, aggressive behavior toward an individual by another. This behavior is actually an imbalance of power that causes the aggressor to experience a false sense of empowerment and the victim feeling powerless. The effects of bullying are evident by various physical and behavioral signs and symptoms.

There are various types of bullying that people need to be aware of. Unfortunately, bullying is very prevalent among children today and can have serious negative effects for the young people who are bullied.

To successfully help children, who are victims of bullying, it is important for adults to recognize these displays, especially in young children. Some children may experience one or all of them.

types of bullyingBullying can be categorized into four types:

1. Physical – Physical bullying can include any unwanted physical contact such as hitting, punching, pinching, and cutting.

2. Verbal – Verbal bullying can include teasing and name-calling.

3. Non-verbal/emotional – Emotional bullying can include eye and finger gestures, exclusion from social gatherings, and intimidation.

4. Cyber – Cyber bullying is when children receive harassing or threatening messages via phone (text message or other), emails, or other technological methods.

Most children who are being bullied do not voice their dilemma, therefore, adults need to know how to spot the signs and symptoms of a bullied child. In this way, they will be better able to help their children to not remain bullying targets. Influential adults may also help them to overcome the negative effects that could scar them for the rest of their lives.

symptoms of bullyingThe following are some common signs and symptoms that bullying targets display.

1. The bullied child often appears sad, depressed, and moody, cries easily, or is easily upset. Changes could be gradual or sudden, but in any event, attention should be given to the changes.

2. The bullied child often isolate themselves from others and do not care to participate in activities. They have no circle of friends, or if children are known to be sociable, but they are beginning to withdraw, it could be that they are avoiding rejection by their peers.

3. The bullied child may have lost interest in school or other social gathering with peers and, as a result, often makes excuses to not attend.

4. The bullied child may come home with visible injuries such as bruises, cuts, and scrapes. These physical marks could be signs of altercations with other children. In most cases, bullied children are afraid to fight back, either because they feel helpless or because they have been taught not to fight back.

5. The child comes home with torn clothes, missing personal items such as school books, or destroyed belongings. These signs could also be as a result of fights and other intimidating activities that render some children helpless.

6. Bullied children often complain of being sick with headaches or stomach aches. Children often use these complaints as excuses because such complaints cannot be easily proven or may not be disputed by parents.

7. The bullied child’s eating habits may have changed. They may have lost their appetite or binge eat.

8. Bullied children often perform poorly in school. Due to emotional distress, children may lack the ability to concentrate on their work.

9. The bullied child may display unexplainable anxiety, have trouble sleeping, or experience nightmares regularly. These experiences could be due to emotional distress and anxiety that play out during the night.

10. Bullied children often suffer from low self-esteem and low self-confidence.

11. Bullied children often appear nervous. Nervous conditions could result when they don’t know what to expect on a daily basis.

When signs and symptoms are spotted, parents should speak with their children to find out what is going in their lives and seek to take helpful actions to eliminate the negative effects of bullying and promote a healthy, safe environment for their child and other children.

About the Author: JoEllen Krauss is a stay-at-home mom who recently gave birth to a little girl, an addition to her family of twin boys and her husband. She’s passionate about helping troubled kids in her community center and also writes freelance for 1800WheelChair.Com. In this guest post she shares tips to detect whether your child is a victim of bullying.

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