Aside from physical abuse, bullying can also include verbal abuse (taunting, teasing, and name-calling), emotional abuse (making someone the subject of rumors, social exclusion, and intimidation), and cyberbullying (intimidation or harassment via text messaging or social media). According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, at least half of all school-aged children will experience some form of bullying in their lives, with 10 percent of children being bullied regularly. Your child may not tell you if he is being bullied, which makes it even more important to know the warning signs and take action.
According to theNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), bullying is widespread in American schools with more than 16 percent of U.S. students admitting to being bullied. Additionally, a survey by childtrends.org found 13 percent of children, ages 2 through 17, have experienced physical bullying in the past year.
So, how do you know if your child is being bullied? Here are 11 signs:
1. You Find Physical Signs on Your child's Body: You spot inexplicable marks, such as bruises and scrapes, on your child’s body, or find your child covering her body unexpectedly even during warm weather./p>
2. Your Child Loses Personal Belongings: Missing or damaged personal items can be a sign of bullying.
3. Your Child Develops Weird Bathroom Habits: Waiting to use the bathroom at home instead of school can be a sign she is being targeted.
4. Your Child Starts Avoiding Social Situations: Your child stops hanging out or talking with close friends, or your child frequently sits alone. This can be a red flag that he has been avoiding social situations.
5. You Notice a Change in Eating Habits: Binge eating or a loss of appetite could be a sign that your child is getting bullied in the lunchroom.
6. Your Child Has a Sudden Change in Self-Esteem or Severe Mood Swings: Your child is often sad, sullen, or depressed, and you notice a sudden change in her behavior.
7. Your Child Starts Exhibiting Self-Destructive Behavior: Be aware of self-destructive behavior or for signs that your child is trying to harm herself.
8. You Notice a Decline in Your Child’s Grades: A sudden drop in grades or refusal to attend school is a red flag that something is going on.
9. Your Child’s Behavior Changes After Going Online: If your child becomes sad or withdrawn after going online, monitor his online accounts for signs of cyberbullying.
10. Your Child Loses Interest in His Hobbies: Skipping after-school activities or hobbies could be because your child is trying to avoid abuse or confrontations.
11. Your Child Has Trouble Sleeping: Stress, trouble sleeping, and frequent nightmares are all signs that something is going on.
If you notice any of these signs, talk to your child to help determine a course of action to help put an end to the bullying.
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