One way for adults to be more proactive in preventing bullying is to recognize the warning signs before a negative consequence occurs. Children are sometimes fearful of asking for help or, more often than not, they don’t know how to get the help they need.
Here are some warning signs of bullying. By understanding these early signals, educators and parents can step in and help children in need.
- Unexplainable injuries
- Missing clothing, electronics or jewelry
- Frequent complaints of sickness like headaches or stomachaches
- Faking illness and wanting to stay home from school
- Changes in eating habits
- Frequent nightmares or difficulty sleeping
- Decline in grades
- Sudden loss of friends
- Signs of depression and low self esteem
- Self destructive behaviors
- Mention of suicide
- Running away from home
In addition to paying attention to these signs, it’s extremely important to watch out for signs that a child is bullying others. Recognizing these signs can help adults intervene with the aggressor.
- Getting into physical or verbal fights with other children
- Friends who are bullying others
- An overall aggressive demeanor
- Constant office referrals and detention
- Unexplained new belongings or extra money
- Never accepting responsibility
- Extremely competitive and concerned about being popular
Bullying is a battle of power. The target of bullying becomes helpless and fearful while the aggressor finds heightened levels of control to feel better about who they are. It’s clear that, from either perspective, the children are experiencing some struggles. Oftentimes, having an adult intervene is what both parties not only need, but desire.