How to tell if your child is being bullied

There's nothing worse for a parent than worrying that your child is being bullied. Bullying Online has this guide on how to tell if your child is being bullied.

A guide for parents

There's nothing worse for a parent than worrying that your child is being bullied. You don't want to grill your child, but you know you need to get to the bottom of it.

The first thing is to think about whether your child's life has changed in recent weeks…

  • Does your daughter seem reluctant to go to school, or is she coming home with her packed lunch uneaten?
  • Is your son asking you to replace missing pens and more expensive items?
  • Are you concerned and puzzled that your child's grades are slipping?
  • Has your son or daughter stopped going to friend's homes or into town to meet people at weekends?
  • Is your child quarrelsome with brothers and sisters or uncharacteristically rude to you?
  • Have you noticed your son is taking a lot of time off school with minor ailments and finding it hard to get to sleep?
  • Is your daughter upset after using the computer at home?
Instead of asking direct questions about why your child seems unhappy, try an indirect approach, asking what they enjoyed about school that day and what they didn't enjoy.

If they didn't enjoy a particular lesson ask why that was. Ask what they did at break and lunchtime and who they went around with. If your child is reluctant to talk about these things then see if you can get them to confide in another family member, perhaps a grandparent or older sister.

Friendships change all the time and while a tiff is a temporary problem, it usually blows over within a few days. Bullying Online finds that most bullying is done by ex-friends rather than strangers at school.

Related links

  • Stop your child being bullied: When your worst fears are confirmed, there are plenty of ways you can help to stop the bullying. Bulling Online has this guide for parents.
  • Surviving the Teenage Years: During their teenage phase your children will tell you one thing and act in another way. So how can parents survive the teenage years with their relationships and sanity intact.
  • Peer Pressure: Whether they have fallen in with the ‘wrong crowd’, or started dressing like a slob, peer pressure may be partly to blame for your teenager’s behaviour. The Supernanny team has some simple ways you can support your child.

Find out more

The Bully Book - Anti Bully books by Birds Hill Publishing

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