Warning Signs Your Child is Being Bullied

By Dr. Mildred Peyton, Parent Herald July 28, 08:23 pm

In recent years, incidents of school bullying have flooded our schools and media outlets. This deluge has demanded the attention of policymakers and educators. What seems to have once been considered "children being children" has now been determined to be a tremendous threat to society as a whole: Some acts of school violence such as shootings have been linked to the shooters' victimization from bullying. This new era of bullying that leads teens, in particular, down destructive or life-threatening paths has earned a mandate from policymakers that all 50 states must have bullying policies, including how to report bullying, in all school districts.

Based on my recent research on bullying, I'd like to share what I believe all parents of school-aged children must be aware of when it comes to their child or children as targets of bullying. As a mother, I would be remiss if I didn't disclose the results of my study to lend a hand in parental advocacy.

Several behavioral patterns in children and youth are considered to be warning signs of being victims of bullying.  Parents are strongly advised to heed them. The following is a listing of emotions and behaviors parents may witness as warnings that their child may be at risk of bullying.

Anxiety, Depression, Crying frequently, Difficulty sleeping, Loss of appetite or change in eating habits, Low self-esteem, Decline in academic performance, Fear or no interest in attending school, Frequent complaints of feeling sick (e.g., stomach aches and headaches, or pretending to be sick), Withdrawal from family and friends (loss of social interest), Suicidal ideation (Self-destructive behaviors), Lost or damaged items, Physical injuries.

These signs of bullying are crucial warnings for every parent. If you see them in your child, seek necessary help in the child's school and through other community resources available at youth centers and health and human services organizations.

Source: Dr. Mildred Peyton, "Exploring the Meaning of School Bullying Among parents of Victimized 

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