How to tell if your child is being bullied

March 3, 2016
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Cody Simpson
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Frequently we get emails from parents, teachers and other concerned adults asking how they can tell if a young person in their life is the victim of bullying.

While we always encourage parents and support people to keep open lines of communications with their children, we know that especially during the teenage years it is not always easy.

With that in mind, here are some signs to look for if you suspect that your child may be a victim of bullying:

– Unexplained physical cuts, bruises and scrapes
– Drop in grades or class rankings
– Desire to skip school
– Change in regular routines (doesn’t want to ride the school bus, sleeping habits become difference, doesn’t want to be alone or want to be alone more frequently)
– Withdrawn from family, friends and normal activities
– Missing toys, games, electronics

What should you do if you notice these signs in your child? Be direct. Beating around the bush allows your child to avoid painful subjects. Ask outright, “I notice that your Northface jacket is missing. Where is it?” ” You do not seem to want to ride the bus anymore. Why not?” These questions force your child to give you a answer, rather than just brushing it off. Always remind your child that you are there to support and to listen to them.

Finally, if you have concerns or your parental intuition still tells you something is off, please consider a meeting with a trained mental health professional.

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