What is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children. Bullying is when someone deliberately and repeatedly upsets, frightens, threatens or hurts someone else or their property, reputation, or social status. No one should have to put up with bullying. It makes people feel unsafe at school and even more miserable when they get home.
Why Teen Bullying is hard to detect?
Even though we keep saying to our kids to reach out to us, the truth is, they seldom do. Sometimes the bullying may have been going around for months before parents find out. Younger children are more likely to come up to you and share what happened at school. But, with teens, things get more difficult. Teenage bullying is tough to spot.
Because teenage bullying is less physical and more psychological and emotional. Teenagers may feel ashamed and afraid or might not want you to be worried about you. Often they want the bullying to go away without making a big deal out of it. But any type of bullying is NOT OKAY!
But there is always some sort of signs that you can look out for:
- Having unexplainable physical injuries such as bruises, scratches, or cuts.
- Coming back home with torn clothing.
- Refusing to go to School. It is common that children are unwilling to go to school after a break but if in the mid-year they suddenly refuse to go to school, things might not be okay. ( If they say things like “I hate school.” or show fear going to school.)
- Missing belongings or getting home with damaged belongings.
- Asking for more money than usual for pocket money.
- Coming back home hungry even though you give him enough to suffice through the hour.
- Complaining regularly about stomach aches, or unexplained pain. (faking illness to avoid going to school)
- Refusing to eat or showing irregularity in eating.
- Declining grades. Though there may be various reasons behind the decline in their grades, it can also be a sign.
- The shift in Friend’s circle: While it is perfectly normal for a child to change his friends very often and have a new best friend every now and then what is not okay is they coming back to home and saying “Nobody likes me” or “No one plays with me.” Bullies often isolate their targets from others making them feel alone and easy to bully.
- Being Quiet.
- Having low self-esteem and confidence.
- Showing an altogether different behavior. Parents should observe their child’s mood after school, paying attention to whether or not they come home in a cheerful mood. Their body language will tell you, ‘Mom, something is really wrong here.'”
- Change is sleeping patterns. (Having nightmares, bedwetting, waking several times at night, or refusing to go out of bed in the morning.)
- Getting anxious or showing frustration and anger.
It’s important to have conversations with your kids about bullies and inappropriate behavior early on.
Sometimes, we may think that this is normally such as name-calling or teasing each other, but if it is making the person feel anxious or less-confident, it needs to stop. Fun and amusement at the cost of someone else’s happiness and comfort should not be tolerated.
Parents should also make a note if their child is the one bullying others. Teach them empathy towards others.