Is Your Child Being Bullied?
Bullying is one of the most common issues that children come across at school. When we picture bullying we often think of teenagers; but bullying can start as soon as your child starts school. And if nothing is done about it, it can get worse, leave lasting impact on the child, and prevent healthy development of your child.
Children often are unable to communicate what’s happening to them for a number of reasons: they’re threatened by the bully, they’re ashamed or embarrassed, they are afraid they will be yelled at, they think if they tell, the bullying will get worse. So it’s up to the parents to ensure a safe environment for the child’s expression and look out for signs of bullying.
The most obvious symptom of bullying can be unexplained cuts, bruises, missing belongings, and torn clothes. While children often play rough and getting hurt during outside games is a common occurrence, it is time to be alarmed if this is happening regularly. So be on the alert for any such signs and look into them immediately to fish out the root cause of these injuries.
Everyday thousands of children skip school because they’re trying to escape bullying. If your child is resisting school very frequently, it’s a good idea to look into it. Of course, most children don’t like school. So this might not immediately seem unusual. But if it’s persisting, there’s no harm in gently asking why your child doesn’t want to go to school. Reassure her that you’re here for her if someone is bothering or hurting her.
Sudden mood changes, irritability, sadness, anger, and recurring crying are often signs that your child is dealing with something upsetting and traumatic. This could be bullying. Unable to properly internalize and suppress the trauma, children often act out through unstable emotions. When this starts to happen, something is definitely not okay. Offer your child love and acceptance. Ensure that you’re approachable enough for her to express what’s upsetting her.
When dealing with bullying, a drop in school performance is almost always part of the situation. This could be because your child has lost motivation, is unable to focus, or has developed childhood depression. It’s a good idea to talk to your child’s teachers to get insight on how she’s behaving in class and her general attitude to help determine what might be the issue. The one thing you must be careful about is ensuring you don’t communicate in a way that your child thinks you’re angry. This will just prevent her from voicing what’s bugging her.
Any unusual behavior is definitely a reason to look deeper into your child’s life. Since children are still learning to communicate and are scared and confused easily, its essential to explore the root cause of any changes that don’t seem right to you.