We’ve all seen the recent stories on the news about bullied kids. Or perhaps we know a few personally. It seems as if it’s an epidemic that is sweeping the nation. Bullying damages a child’s self-esteem and can lead to emotional problems later in life. It can lead to psychosomatic symptoms such as sickness, aches, and pains. If you suspect that a child you know is being bullied, there are things you can do to help remedy the situation and stop the perpetrator from doing lasting damage.
Sometimes children won’t admit that they are being bullied and pretend to take it in stride if someone is bothering them. But there are some common signs that they will exhibit. Parents and teachers can learn to recognize these signs so that they can find out what’s going on. Beyond obvious physical markers, such as bruising or other injuries, there are mental signs as well. Many children will be stressed out and even get depressed. They might start spending a lot of time alone instead of with friends. Some might lash out at school or at home. Bullying can have a negative effect on their grades. The victims often start feeling powerless and fear that the bullying will never stop. But the reality is that bullying doesn’t last forever – even if it feels like that for the victims.
The Internet has also led to issues of cyber-bullying. Unfortunately, that can be even harder for kids to bear. Posting things online is a cruel form of entertainment for some teens, who don’t realize what they post can cause a severe reaction. The perpetrators may never know that the girl they called fat online might turn out to be bulimic or anorexic later in life.
In order to stop the cycle of bullying and the damage that it causes, we have to plan to stop it as soon as we witness it. There are now special policies in schools and communities that advocate for witnesses and victims to come forward. It is well worth it to educate yourself regarding the signs of a child who may be suffering from the effects of bullying.