Bullying is defined as ongoing behaviors that are nasty, unpleasant, teasing, belittling or intimidating towards another person. Bullying behaviors can be physical, verbal, or in the form of excluding another from participating in certain activities. Vandalizing and/or taking of another person’s property is another common form bullying.
Warning signs that your child might be the victim of bullying:
• Sudden fear or reluctance to go to school
• Lost lunch money or possessions with hard to believe explanations
• Spending more time alone
• Falling grades
• Spending less time doing activities you know they used to enjoy
• Changes in sleeping or eating habits
• Physical complaints
• Looking or acting sad
• Torn clothing at the end of school day
• Unexplained cuts or bruises upon returning home from school
Tips for parents:
• Let your child know you suspect something is wrong
• Encourage your child to talk
• Validate your child’s decision to confide in you and assure them that they are not to blame
• Share your child’s complaints with school officials.
• Work with school officials in protecting your child from possible retaliation and establishing a plan for any future bullying incidents.
• Help your child identify effective coping behaviors
Jeffrey Jabick, LMHC, Professional Toolbox Consultant