While some people assume that the signs of bullying are readily noticeable and easy to determine, it's oftentimes not the case. A bully victim may suffer from physical injuries and other signs of attack, but many bullies operate by intimidating their victims and damaging them emotionally or verbally instead of physically. Therefore, you'll need to be watchful of signs of bullying as caused by physical attacks, verbal and emotional attacks, and even bullying through the Internet as well. Read on for some of the most common warning signs that your child may be the recipient of a bully's attention at school or elsewhere.
1. Physical Injuries
One of the most obvious signs that your child is being bullied is physical injuries or damage. While physical bullying is common, it is not increasing overall in prevalence relative to the other types of bullying that exist today. Still, if your child comes home from school or play with cuts, bruises or sores that he cannot explain or which he is uncomfortable talking about, it may be a sign that your child has had an encounter with a bully. Similarly, look for rips, tears and stains on clothing that may indicate some sort of altercation.
2. Loss of Interest in School and Activities
Children that are suffering from intimidation and other emotional bullying may begin to lose interest in the things that they care about. This may mean that your child loses interest in his outside activities or hobbies or even that he begins to do worse in school. When confronted, your child may be defensive or offer up little explanation for this change in behavior.
3. Loss of Interest in Social Life
Even a normally highly social child may begin to lose interest in keeping up with his friends after encounters with a bully. Look for changes in the way that your child interacts with others, as well as signs that he has cut himself off from his friends and other social opportunities. These are signs that he may be dealing with a bully.
4. Anxiety and Nervousness
Children who are being bullied oftentimes display anxiety and nervousness in other situations. You may notice that your child is afraid to go to school or is very reluctant. He may go out of his way to take a long way into our out of the building, or when he travels to or from school. Additionally, he may also seem nervous when out in public or in other situations where he will not likely encounter the bully either.
Children who are bullied may seem to fall into a depression or a bad mood. Look for signs that your child seems less happy or outgoing than he normally is or other warnings that his behavior has changed as well.
If you notice these signs, consult with a counselor or a school administrator for additional ideas about how to remedy the bullying problem.