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10 Signs Your Child May Be Being Bullied

Updated on September 4, 2013
Power struggle between children
Power struggle between children

When Children Seek Acceptance

It is unfortunate to say that bullying, in one form or another, has been around a long long time. Some might say it is a fact of life. Experts in the study of bullying behavior agree bullying is an attempt by a child to gain power and control. Bullying is a means, although not a good one, to gain social status among peers.

Bullying behavior tends to peak during the middle school years, when a child is a tween, at about the age 11. It is at this time that peers become more important in the developing child's life. Parents are sidelined, no longer being viewed as the expert in things like what to wear, how to talk, attitudes to family members, and school. In an attempt to gain status within the peer group and to experiment with the natural desire to assert their independence, tweens and teens are vulnerable to bullying others. They are also vulnerable to being bullied. The child's desire to be independent, to handle situations on their own, or upon the advice of friends may be reluctant to tell an adult they are being bullied.

Cyberbullying is real
Cyberbullying is real

National Bullying Prevention Center


  • Nearly 1/3 of all school age children are bullied each year
  • That is upward of 13 million children
  • During Grades 4-8 the number of children bullied jumps to 90%
  • Bullying is now a 24/7 activity due to the use and availability of technology
  • One cyber bullying message has the potential to reach millions of readers, unlike a negative comment made on the playground or in the lunch room

What To Do If You Are Cyber Bullied

Tips for stopping cyber bullying
Tips for stopping cyber bullying

10 Signs Your Child May Be Being Bullied

1. Physical complaints: headaches, stomachaches, difficulty concentrating

2. Changes: in sleep patterns, eating habits, hygiene, homework, friends

3. Lost/Damaged: clothing, property (games/toys)

4. Bruises: when asked makes attempt to minimize or says it happened in gym

5. Loss of Enthusiasm: does not want to participate or attend previously enjoyed activities, school club, church, a particular friend's house, afterschool sport

6. Changes: isolates self from friends, does not call, Facebook,Twitter etc

7. Decline: in grades, school attendance, class attendance, tardy for school/class

8. Avoidance: going to school, previously enjoyed activities, frequent trips to the school nurse or school counselor

9. Expression: writing, singing, painting,or verbal expressions depicting sadness, loneliness, sadness, anger

10. Weapon: increased interest in weapons, taking something to school to use as a weapon

Bullying and Cyber Bullying In School and At Home

Most bullying takes place in school and online. In schools the typical places for bullying to occur is in hallways, the cafeteria, bathrooms, the playground, bus stop, and on the bus.

While most schools have internet safety policies that parents and students must sign in order for the student to use school computers this has not been much of a deterrent to cyber bullying. More and more schools are allowing students to carry individual cell phones and ipads, all of which may allow bullying to occur online during school hours. At home, any time a teen is unsupervised using the computer there is the potential for cyber bullying to occur.

Bullies at School

Talking With Your Child About Bullying

I have talked with my child about what to do if they are bullied

See results
 Stop Bullying
Stop Bullying


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    • Lisa Gilliam profile image

      Lisa Gilliam 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Our problem is when the principal was informed by my son that he was being bullied, and told her who the children (yes, there was more than one), she did NOTHING about it. My son was so damaged by all the verbal abuse (it's really a long story), that he ended up in the hospital. I refused to send him back to that school, and insisted he be transferred. I took the situation to the administration, and they don't care either.

    • schoolmarm76 profile image

      schoolmarm76 4 years ago from Northeast

      I agree with what you say Denise. Bullies learn avoid the adult eyes and kids are often afraid to speak up. It can turn into a cycle that must be stopped. Treating others the way we would like to be treated is a good start.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Having worked in a public school system, I heard a lot about the bullying that was taking place, although I did not witness any myself. Bullies are pretty street smart. They do their dirty work out of the eye of teachers, hall monitors, and administrators. It is difficult to prosecute a bully. Most people do not speak up about it until they are personally injured in some way. Many schools have no bullying policies, but schools cannot do much when they do not see it happening and no one is willing to speak up. Unfortunately, many times kids who are victims end up being bullies later. As parents, we can help our kids deal with bullying by teaching them how to treat others the way that they want to be treated. When kids are willing to stand up for themselves and others who may be being bullied, then bullying can be stopped.