Your Child Being Bullied?
Courtesy of the Colorado Anti-Bullying Project
The Colorado Anti-Bullying Project provides the
following warning signs that may denote your child
is being bullied:
- Comes home from school with torn,
damaged, or missing clothing, books, and belongings.
- Has unexplained injuries such
as bruises, cuts, and scratches.
- Doesn't bring friends home after
school or spend time at their homes.
- Seems isolated from other kids
and may not have good friends to share time
- Appears to be fearful about
attending school, walking to and from school,
or riding the bus.
- Chooses a longer or unusual
route for going to and from school.
- Has a poor appetite, headaches
and stomachaches especially before school.
- Asks for or takes extra money
from their family members.
- Appears anxious, distressed,
unhappy, depressed, or tearful when they come
home from school or shows unexpected mood shifts,
irritability, or sudden outbursts of temper.
- Has problems sleeping.
- Loses interest in school work
and shows a decline in academic performance.
- Talks about or attempts suicide.
When a child is bullied, he/she
tends to fall into one of two categories: The
Passive Victim and the Provocative Victim. The
“passive victim” signals to others
by his/her attitudes and behaviors that he/she
is an insecure individual who will not retaliate
if victimized, while the “provocative victim”
is characterized by having both anxious and aggressive
Parents of bullied children do not have to stand
by helplessly. There are many courses of action
that can be taken. The following tips are recommended
by the Colorado Anti-Bullying Project:
Encourage your child to share problems with
you. Assure him/her that this is not tattling.
Realize that your child may be embarrassed, ashamed,
and fearful, so you may have to ask directly.
Listen attentively and reassure him or her that
he/she will not have to face the problem alone.
Praise your child for his/her accomplishments
and differences. A confident child is less
likely to be targeted by bullies.
Search for talents and positive attributes
that can be developed in your child, which may
making asserting him/herself easier.
Help your child make friends. Arrange play
dates with other kids or encourage your child
to join groups, clubs, or take lessons.
Encourage your child to participate in sports
or physical activity. Physical exercise can
result in better physical coordination and can
also increase your child's self-esteem.
Talk to your child about strategies for dealing
with the bully. Practicing scenarios with
your child could help build confidence.
If the bullying is happening on the way to and
from school, accompany your child or arrange
for alternate transportation. Work with other
parents to ensure that the children in your neighborhood
are supervised closely.
Maintain contact with your child's school.
Make sure your child is safe by finding out whether
the monitoring at school is adequate. Ask for
a conference with school administrators and the
bully's parents. Keep a detailed record of bullying
episodes and related communication with the school.
Be informed about how the situation is being handled,
or help develop a plan of action for the school
Seek help from a mental health professional.
For more information on the Colorado Anti-Bullying