Many schools and parents have been gaining a better understanding about bullying and have been working hard to prevent it. But the stark reality is that bullying still very much exists. By knowing and recognizing the common of signs of bullying, you can intervene and stop the problem before it leads to even larger mental health concerns. Looking for these four common warning signs of bullying can be the first step in helping your child.
1. Unexplained Cuts, Bruises or Other Injuries
This may seem like a dead giveaway, but children who are bullied are often hesitant to explain the cause of their injuries. Try to approach your child gently and calmly when asking about their injuries and if you still suspect a bullying problem, consider setting up an appointment with his or her teacher.
2. Sudden Fear
If your child was once eager and happy to go to school and see his or her friends, but is now suddenly afraid to even get on the bus, bullying could be the cause. This may even spill into your child’s social life, making him or her afraid to attend parties or other social events.
3. Loss of Interest
Bullying can also lead to a loss of interest in school and other sports or activities that your child used to enjoy. It could also contribute to a sudden decrease in performance in schoolwork or extracurricular activities.
4. Appears Anxious or Depressed
If severe bullying is left unaddressed, it could lead to anxiety and depression. Some of the common symptoms of anxiety and depression include fatigue, insomnia and feelings of hopelessness. But because these symptoms can be difficult to notice in children, the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that all children be screened for depression annually.