Recognize the Signs of Bullying
Bullying can take on many forms; some direct, such as physical abuse, and some subtle or often overlooked, such as verbal abuse. Too often, verbal abuse is passed off as harmless teasing by other students or adults. While it may seem harmless, using your words to make someone feel bad is a form of bullying. Teaching children the power of their words and to speak up when the words of others make them feel uncomfortable can help prevent bullying or bring attention to it if your child is bullied.
To recognize signs of bullying, it helps to get in the habit of asking your child about their day, and listening for who their friends are and how they are being treated. Asking open-ended questions gives them the opportunity to confide in you without your questions sounding judgmental or accusatory. Other signs to look for are:
- Changes in eating habits
- Making excuses not to go to school
- Acting out of character
- Declining grades
- Isolating themselves
- Digressing in development or behavior
Debra Mack, the director of inpatient services at Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital and a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about how to recognize bullying in children.