This is taken from my segment on Star 105.7 in West Michigan with Tommy and Brook.
I recently read a study that said that 160,000 kids are skipping school every day because of intimidation and bullying. This is not going away Moms, we need to know the signs to look out for in our kids. Sadly, our kids probably won’t come out and tell us so we need to educate ourselves.
Here are list of possible warnings that a child may be bullied and needs your support. Of course, these signs could indicate other problems, but any of these give us reasons to dig a little further.
- Consistently losing things…toys, school supplies, clothing, lunches, or money
- Or things coming home damage
- Child comes home starving…bully stole their lunch.
- If your child doesn’t want to go to school or ride the bus anymore.
~Your child complains of stomach aches or head aches when they have to go to school or school functions
- Withdrawn, talks about feeling lonely
- Their emotions are all over the place, moody or constantly sad
- Marked change in typical behavior or personality
- Your child begins bullying siblings or younger kids. (Bullied children can sometimes flip their role and become the bully.)
- Waits to get home to use the bathroom. (School and park bathrooms, because they are often not adult-supervised, can be hot spots for bullying).
- A sudden drop in grades. (Bullying can cause a child to have difficulty focusing and concentrating.)
- Talks about feeling helpless or about suicide; runs away.
If we see these signs, what do we do?
Ask questions and watch your child’s reactions. Often what a child doesn’t say may be more telling than his words. Pay attention to your child’s body language. If they refuse to talk about it, there is probably bullying behind it.
If you suspect bullying and your child won’t talk to you, see if they will talk with a trusted adult who knows them well. A school teacher, aunt or uncle, friend of the family.
The trick is to figure out if your child is bullied and then where and when it is happening so you can get the right help for your child.
Often you will get more information out of your childs best friend. If you feel they are safe to talk to, ask a close friend of theirs how they are doing.
Make sure your child knows you are concerned and willing to listen whenever they need to talk. Emphasize that you believe in your child and what they are saying.
If the signs continue or intensify, please seek the help of a trained mental health professionals!
Next week we’re going to talk about the flip side of this, the signs that your child IS the bully…
If you missed this segment, you can listen by clicking on the Star 105.7 tab.