What is Bullying?
Bullying is described as an aggressive, intentional and repeated behavior towards another person that involves an imbalance of strength or power. There are several examples of bullying:
- Emotional (threats, social exclusion, intimidating gestures)
- Physical (hitting, punching, kicking)
- Verbal (name calling, teasing, threats)
- Cyberbullying (online harassment)
Because children spend about six to eight hours a day at school, they can witness bullying or even be a victim of bullying. Do you suspect you child is being bullied? Here are some signs to look for:
- Your child comes home with damaged, torn or missing pieces of clothing, or other belongings.
- Has unexplained bruises or scratches.
- Seems afraid to go to school, ride the bus, or walk to and from school.
- Has few or no friends.
- Appears sad, moody, and depressed after school.
- Poor grades.
- Complains of being physically sick.
- Makes excuses not to attend school.
- Struggles with anxiety and low self-esteem.
If you child shows any of these signs, talk to them and talk with school staff to find out what may be going on. Just because your child shows one or any of these signs does not automatically mean they are being bullied, but it is important to find out what the problem is. Classroom teachers can be a good resource because they are likely in the best position to observe the interaction between your child and their peers.
If after talking to you child and school staff you find that your child is being bullied, please be willing to work with the school staff to develop a plan that will protect your child’s emotional well-being. Also, seek support from a school counselor, psychologist, or mental health therapist.