Children who are bullied may feel helpless, fear retaliation or backlash from reporting bullying, and may think they are socially isolated from receiving support. Indicators of bullying can include:
- Declining grades/attention in the classroom
- Changes in regular habits and routines, including eating and getting ready in the morning
- Difficulty sleeping or experiences with nightmares
- Avoidance of social situations or self-destructive behavior
- Feelings of sickness or faking injuries/illness
- Lost or destroyed belongings or items
Preventing bullying in children’s lives can avoid trauma, decrease the likelihood of low self-esteem, prevent negative mental health impacts, and lessen the potential for a decline in academic performance. You can:
- Have conversations with children about bullying, its harmful impacts, and ways to address and stop it early on.
- Talk to kids about situations at school or other places where bullying can occur and keep an open line of communication about mental health.
- Discuss cyberbullying with children and the potential dangers of online presence.
- Ensure that those in leadership positions who might be able to help are aware of the situation if physical safety is a concern.
If your child or a child you know is experiencing bullying, validate their feelings and experience, connect them with a mental health professional to talk about how they feel, work together to come up with a plan to address the bullying, and keep the line of communication open to build trust. We all must play our part in keeping children safe and promoting their overall wellbeing.