Bullying is a worldwide issue that affects children of all ages and demographics. While some might write off unkind words and actions with a glib, “Kids will be kids,” this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously. Recent studies published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry showed that children who were bullied are at risk for depression as young adults. And later in life, these people are more likely to need psychiatric treatment for depression. As a parent, knowing the signs that your child is being bullied will play a large role in stopping the issue and helping your child mentally and physically before more serious problems come up down the road.
At Albemarle Square Family Health, we are dedicated to helping children and promoting good health. If you would like to have your child screened, please contact us to make an appointment today!
Here are some of the signs that your child is being bullied.
Frequent Mysterious Injuries
A bump or bruise here and there isn’t too much cause for concern. However, if you notice your child is coming home a bit more frequently than usual with injuries that he or she isn’t willing to discuss or gives that seem like odd explanations, you might need to dig deeper. Many children are scared to report bullying in fear that they won’t be taken seriously, or that they will face repercussions from their attacker. If he or she doesn’t tell you, don’t brush it off.
Your child might have headaches, stomach aches, or illnesses, which could be used as excuses not to have to go to school to face their assailants. If you feel that they’re faking illness, or that they’re having these issues too often to be normal, don’t let them go.
If your child no longer shows interest in school or isn’t turning in assignments, it could be because they are being bullied. Whether it’s because they’re so stressed about the situation that they can’t concentrate, or because their homework is being stolen or destroyed, their academic future is at stake (not to mention the long-term effects of being bullied).
Avoiding Social Situations
If you’ve noticed that your child no longer mentions the same friends, says that they don’t have any friends, or is avoiding friendship situations, it could be because of bullying.
What You Can Do
Most importantly, don’t let this slide. Find out the facts from your child, the school, or anywhere else this is happening. Document what you learn and meet with the principal, and if necessary, take the information to the police if it occurred outside of the school. While it might be difficult, remain calm and stick to the facts. Your emotions might be high, but the calmer these situations are addressed, the more smoothly they are likely to go. Be sure that the acts are going to be dealt with and that whoever is hurting your child is being held accountable.
Come up with a safety plan at the school, or wherever else this is happening. Follow up with your child, teachers, and the principal to ensure that the bullying has stopped. If not, continue to document the instances and move higher up the chains of command until action is taken. In cases of cyberbullying, which can happen with social media, contact the police, the ISP provider, and social media company.
Contact Albemarle Square Family Health today for all your children’s health needs.