Warning Signs of Bullying

This post was copied from http://www.stopbullying.gov and I thought that it was so perfect that I didn’t want to change a thing. Please visit their website for a whole lot of great information on bullying. 🙂

Warning Signs

Teacher meeting with parent and studentThere are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying—either being bullied or bullying others. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Not all children who are bullied or are bullying others ask for help.

It is important to talk with children who show signs of being bullied or bullying others. These warning signs can also point to other issues or problems, such as depression or substance abuse. Talking to the child can help identify the root of the problem.

Signs a Child is Being Bullied

Look for changes in the child. However, be aware that not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs.

Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t ignore the problem. Get help right away.

Signs a Child is Bullying Others

Kids may be bullying others if they:

  • Get into physical or verbal fights
  • Have friends who bully others
  • Are increasingly aggressive
  • Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
  • Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
  • Blame others for their problems
  • Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
  • Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity

Why don’t kids ask for help?

Statistics from the 2008–2009 School Crime Supplement show that an adult was notified in only about a third of bullying cases. Kids don’t tell adults for many reasons:

  • Bullying can make a child feel helpless. Kids may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again. They may fear being seen as weak or a tattletale.
  • Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied them.
  • Bullying can be a humiliating experience. Kids may not want adults to know what is being said about them, whether true or false. They may also fear that adults will judge them or punish them for being weak.
  • Kids who are bullied may already feel socially isolated. They may feel like no one cares or could understand.
  • Kids may fear being rejected by their peers. Friends can help protect kids from bullying, and kids can fear losing this support.

Why Some People are Bullies…

This is the big question, isn’t it? Why do they bully? Why am I the target? Why couldn’t their parents put an end to it before they turned so BAD? So many questions, and unfortunately there isn’t enough answers available to go around.

Is bullying something you are born with? NO.

Could a person stop bullying? YES

Can a person that is being bullied, some day turn into a bully themselves? YES

Bullying is a LEARNED behavior. It is not a disease. And it does not only apply to children. Grown adults can be bullies and be bullied as well. Is there anything that we can do about it as parents or as a community? ABSOLUTELY!

I feel very strongly about this. There is help out there and it isn’t in a pill form. I will say this one more time, bullying is not a disease, it is a learned behavior.

I wish that I could claim to cure bullying in the world and all will be well, but that is not even practical. But if I can help one person that is a bully or is being bullied, then at least I will feel like I have done something.

People die from being bullied. Bullying in one form or another is one of the leading causes of suicide. Did you know that?

Can I cure bullying? NO

Can I set someone in the right direction and help them along their way? YES

I can’t cure anything on my own. It takes work from both sides, but I can be here to guide you. I want to help. I think I was put on this earth to do just that. Nothing makes me happier than helping someone either by just listening or sharing my own experiences or whatever else that particular individual may need or want.