Warning Signs and Symptoms of Bullying in School

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Bullying in School

Attending school is often part of a child’s daily routine where they learn, socialize, and engage in team building environments. Unfortunately, at the same time, this can be an environment where some kids experience bullying and negative behaviors, as well. Outlining some of the signs and symptoms to watch for can be a helpful way to build communication and safety for your child while they attend school.

First and foremost, it is so important that we help our children understand that open communication and a safe space for them to share is the foundation to a healthy relationship. It is encouraged to model beneficial communication to your child so that they know they can communicate with you if something is on their mind. Typically, the first symptoms we see when a child is getting bullied at school is a change in their overall mood, decreased communication, and/or lack of desire to go to school. This may look like increased anger, sadness or aggression, along with frequently being sick or making excuses as to why they don’t want to attend school. As parents or caregivers, we also want to observe any changes in sleep and eating patterns. Children that are getting bullied at school may struggle with sleep due to increased anxiety and worry regarding what is happening during the school day; Along with stress linked to eating patterns, either restricting or binging to cope with what they are experiencing.

Low self-esteem and isolation are two other common warning signs that you may want to watch for if you suspect your child is getting bullied. Bullying often includes name calling, insulting, or the use of hurtful words, so observing a change in your child’s self esteem may mean that negative behaviors are occurring at school. If your child starts to isolate themself, it can mean they are holding in or suppressing their thoughts and feelings. When bullying is occurring at school, children often suppress their emotions and feelings, so checking in with them and encouraging communication may help to provide a safe space for them to share if something is affecting them negatively.

In review, the most important tool to establish with your child is open communication so if they are getting bullied at school, they can feel safe to share it with you. Then, together you can help the child manage those thoughts and emotions, and come up with a plan to help them feel safer and more confident at school. Talking with a safe person from school might also be helpful. This may include a teacher, counselor, or principal that can help aid in reassurance that the bullying behavior is being monitored and managed at school. Knowledge is power, so talking with your child about bullying, and some of the symptoms might be helpful, even if it they aren’t experiencing it. It can help the child to be proactive to help themselves or others at school. Managing these signs and symptoms and knowing what to watch for can ensure your child is attending a school that feels safe and supportive, which is the ultimate goal when getting an education!

For additional blogs and resources, visit: wibehavioralhealth.com

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