KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As students gear up to head back to school, crime victims' advocate Kim Case is sharing warning signs parents should look for to ensure their child is not being bullied or bullying others.
Warning Signs a child may be being bullied
There are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying—either being bullied or bullying others. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Not all children who are bullied or are bullying others ask for help.
- Look for changes in the child. However, be aware that not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs.
- Unexplainable injuries, lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
- Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares, not wanting to go to school, claiming illness often
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school; sudden loss of friends
Signs a Child is Bullying Others
- Get into physical or verbal fights, seem increasingly aggressive
- Have friends who bully others
- Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
- Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
- Blame others for their problem, don’t take responsibility for actions
- Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity
Why don't kids ask for help? ( an adult is notified less than 40% of the time)
- Bullying can make a child feel helpless. Kids may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again. They may fear being seen as weak or a tattletale.
- Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied them.
- Kids who are bullied may already feel socially isolated. They may feel like no one cares or could understand.
- Kids may fear being rejected by their peers. Friends can help protect kids from bullying, and kids can fear losing this support.