There are many forms of bullying and there are many signs that can indicate bullying. It is important to look out for signs, especially for special need’s children. They may not understand what is truly happening or they might not have a way to tell someone about it. Either way, a child should never have to go through bullying and being able to identify signs can help you provide help for a child. While the number of signs go on and on, we brought together 5 signs that we thought could help identify signs of bullying in a child.
Observation. The first thing you need to do in order to identify signs is to be observant.
Being observant will help realize the child isn’t acting the same and that something is wrong. This can be easy for parents, since they know their children the best, but this could be harder for a teacher or another important adult. You need to know the typical behavior and personality of that child to begin with in order to identify something out of the ordinary.
Eating habits. When a child is being bully, they might have a change in eating habits. A child may eat more or less than normal depending on how the bullying effects them. They may feel anxious or depressed and that could effect their appetite. Knowing how much or how little a child normally eats will help you identify a change in eating habits. Once you notice the change, you can ask the child about school or friends. You could even contact a teacher and see if they have noticed anything going on at school.
Behavior. Another sign a child might be being bullied is a “sudden change in behavior”. A child might lose interest in hobbies or stay away from friends. Perhaps the child would rather spend a majority of their time alone versus being around other people. An outgoing child may all the sudden become shy. There are many possibility of changes and it’s crucial to already know that child’s personality before you can recognize a change.
Avoiding school. Some children that are being bullied might start making excuses to get out of going to school. These children would normally like going to school and this behavior would seem odd for them. The child may feel that they are not safe at school and are trying to avoid the bully. This is a good indicator that something is wrong at school. If the child won’t talk about it, then it is a good idea to call the child’s teacher and see if they noticed any unusual behavior.
Physical signs. Not all bullying is going to be physical so a child who is being bullied may or may not have physical signs to indicate it. In cases of physical bullying, an adult may notice unexplained bruises, cuts, or even torn clothing. This should be an immediate red flag and indicate that something is wrong. It is important to talk to the child’s teachers and figure out a solution to stop the bullying and protect the child.
Bullying can go unnoticed and unsolved if signs aren’t identified. Especially for children who don’t realize it is wrong or who may not have the ability to speak up for themselves. It is crucial to be observant to even notice these signs. Signs can include changes in eating habits and behavior, avoiding school, and physical signs such as cuts and bruises. Once these signs have been identified, the road to stop bullying can begin. Talking to teachers at school and possibly getting the child’s IEP board involved can be steps to address the bullying. No child should have to go through bullying and identifying signs is the first step to help the child.