Child counselors want parents to know that bullying has many forms, some direct, like verbal and physical abuse, and indirect, like leaving a child out of a group or spreading rumors about the child. Those children who find themselves victim to bullying can suffer from emotional scarring, lower self-esteem, and in grave cases, depression and suicide. Unlike adults, children aren’t as willing to speak up about their feelings which is why child counselors say that it is so important to be able to recognize the warning signs in a child.
There are even new forms of bullying, that weren’t around earlier, but presently come with social media, called cyberbullying.
To pick up on the signs of bullying, it is important for parents to get into a habit of asking their children about their day, listening to who they are hanging out with, and how it sounds like they are being treated. If you notice that your child’s friends aren’t the same from day to day or their mood changes, try to dig a little deeper and find the root of the problem. Child counselors also state that you should look for changes in eating habits, coming home from school with unexplained injuries or damaged or missing belongings, making excuses to avoid school, acting out of character, declining grades, avoiding certain places or playing outside alone, trouble sleeping and self-blame.
If this sounds like something that may be going on with your child or you find out that your child is being bullied, you should work with the teachers and school counselors to help find a solution to the problem. If doable, parents and children should work together to get to the root of the problem and promote reconciliation. In grave cases, a child may even talk about suicide, which is why being able to recognize the signs of bullying is so important.
Fortunately, there are efforts being made towards prevention; and interventions have begun at a large amount of schools throughout the United States.
If you suspect that your child is being bullied, don’t be afraid to talk to him or her and find out what you can do to help the issue.