UA Matters: How to Tell if Your Child is Being Bullied
Children can be bullied for many reasons. Some children are more likely to be targeted as victims if they differ from their peers because of disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, weight, physical appearance, athletic skills, race, religion, the income of their families or where they live.
The University of Alabama’s Dr. John E. Lochman shares some signs to look for in potential bullied victims. Children who are bullied are more likely:
- to avoid school, to begin wanting to miss more school days and to be more likely to drop out of school in adolescence
- to have declining academic achievement, including lower grades and achievement scores in math and reading
- to have lower self-esteem and increasing levels of anxiety, depression and loneliness
- to have physical evidence of bullying, including frequent unexplained bruises and torn clothing
- to lack social support from their peers
- to have thoughts of suicide, and to attempt suicide, both during childhood and later in life
- to have, in some cases, increasing levels of impulsive aggression and to become more reactively angry to small slights, leading some children to be both bullies to some of their peers and victims with others
If you perceive that your child may be bullied, talk with the counselor and teachers at your child’s school. Seek assistance from mental health counselors in your community if the symptoms associated with bullying become more frequent and extreme.
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