There are three (3) great warning signs to look for that can alert you to the fact that your child is being bullied:
- Your child has bruises, cuts, and/or torn clothing.
- Your child is afraid to be left alone, wants to make sure you are on time for pick up at school, or tries to get out of going to school.
- There are change in personality; your child becomes an introvert or does not want to participate in things he/she used to love to do.
The most obvious sign is, of course, when you can physically see the torn clothes and bruises; the harder thing to notice is the subtle changes in behavior.
Make it a point to talk to your child about their day at school and be specific. Your child does not want to keep the fact that they are being bullied a secret; however, they do not know what to do and they are likely worried about the consequences — from either the child that bullies them or from others. They might also be really concerned about your reaction and how you could “make it even worse”.
Be sensitive to their feelings, and if they don’t want to talk about it… tell them something like: “Whatever it is, we will work through it! I’m ready to listen to you and I want you to know that I love you and want you to be happy. If there is something going on at school we can talk about it, we will discuss how we should move forward together.”