10 signs that your child is being bullied

February 13, 2017
  • Is your child being bullied?
    1 / 7 Is your child being bullied?

    Studies that look at the frequency of bullying among boys and girls give conflicting results; some conclude that the incidence of bullying is higher among girls, while others find the opposite. 

    The forms bullying takes also differs between genders.

    Boys tend to be more physically violent, while girls tend to favour verbal abuse, teasing and social exclusion, explains child psychologist, Dr Richard Woolfson.

    Bear in mind, though, that both types of bullying are equally painful for the victim.

    Your child may not want to admit to you that she is being bullied and might endure it for several months without saying anything about it. 

    One of the telltale signs that a young child is being bullied is an uncharacteristic change in her behaviour. 

    Of course, this can be due to many other pressures, such as trouble between her parents, with friends, or the death of a close relative. But it can also be due to bullying ? if all other explanations have been ruled out, then this may be the reason underlying the change in her behaviour.

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  • 10 signs that your child is being bullied
    2 / 7 10 signs that your child is being bullied

    1. fear of attending school
    2. complains to you that she hates school
    3. complains of a tummy upset or a headache when it’s time to go to school
    4. has unexplained bruises, cuts, grazes or scratches on her face, hands or legs
    5. loses her school bag, lunch-box or books often
    6. loses her snack and lunch money repeatedly
    7. shows signs of distress, such as stammering
    8. is afraid when you leave her alone with her peers
    9. loses her appetite for sweets and snacks
    10. experiences unexplained bouts of tearfulness 

    If your child displays one or more of these signs, it may not mean that she is definitely being bullied, but you should be alert to this possibility. 

    If in doubt, try to discuss the matter with her. You’ll need to persist before she will open up to you. 

    Related: Is your child being bullied at school? Here’s how to find out

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  • How you can help
    3 / 7 How you can help

    Always treat complaints of bullying seriously. Remember that it takes courage for her to admit to you that she is being bullied.

    Reassure your child that you will keep the matter entirely confidential. It’s also important to teach her how to deal with the bully.

    Related: 4 ways to respond to bullying

    Here are some strategies to consider.

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  • 1. Walk away when he sees the bully
    4 / 7 1. Walk away when he sees the bully

    This avoidance-strategy is mistakenly construed by the victim as an act of cowardice, when it is in fact, a sensible thing to do.

    Related: Primary 6 bully kicks P5 boy, sprays him with soya sauce

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  • 2. Show no reaction
    5 / 7 2. Show no reaction

    It’s a cliche, but the teasing and bullying will stop eventually if the victim displays indifference to them. Ignoring verbal and physical threats is difficult, but it can be done.

    Related: Child being bullied at school by girls

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  • 3. Avoid fighting back
    6 / 7 3. Avoid fighting back

    Tempting as it may be to encourage your child to retaliate, she may end up with a severe beating instead. Also, your nine-year-old might start to think that aggression is the answer to all sorts of problems.

    Related: 5 signs that your child is a bully

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  • 4. Stay with the crowd
    7 / 7 4. Stay with the crowd

    Bullies pick on children who seem weak and isolated. Therefore, a child standing alone in the school playground is easily identified as a target.

    Finally, speak to your child’s teachers about the problem. A combined approach involving the school and parents is usually the most effective solution.

    Related: 5 school problems you should not ignore

    (Photos: 123RF.com) 

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