In this second part of this blog, we will explore the bullying from the bullied perspective. In the book The Bully, The Bullied, and the Bystander, Barbara Coloroso revealed that 86 percent of children have self-reported that they are bullied at school. This is an enormous percentage!! Bullying instills fear in children, causing them to experience guilt and shame.
Many times, children do not know how to process these bullying actions, which can negatively affect their emotions, their physical health, and their safety and well-being.
It is important to be alert and watch for the frequency, duration, and intensity of any behavioral changes. Children speak in the following way:
- Body Language – many times, children speak with their body language. Pay attention to their actions. Sometimes children will change their posture or tense up when being bullied.
- Facial Expression – often facial expressions give insight to the mood or some stressors that children are facing. There may be a change in your child’s facial expressions if they are struggling with the stress of being bullied.
- Eye Contact – being bullied can cause shame and guilt. Eye contact often wanes when children are feeling shamed or guilty
- Tone of Voice – the tone of voice can reveal the emotion and mood that your child may be in.
- Words – children that have been bullied will drop hints or clues that are important to pay attention to.
If you believe that your child is being bullied, some warning signs that you can look for are:
- Lack of interest in school or outright refusal to attend school
- Grades begin to suffer
- Hungry after school
- Avoids going to the bathroom at school, which may cause a bladder infection
- Withdraws from family and school activities
- Stops talking about everyday activities
- Has physical injuries
- Has stomachaches, headaches, panic attacks, unable to sleep or sleeps excessively
It is important to pick up on your child’s subtle signs in order to properly support them. If you have noticed some of these signs in your children, counseling may be a way for them to express what is going on in a safe manner.
More in this series:
The Bully (part 1)
Chelsey Beauchamp, MS
cbeauchamp @ growcounseling.com