Bullying: What To Do If You Suspect That Your Child Is Being Bullied
Would you know what to look for if your child is a victim of a bully? Just as bullying can take many forms, its ramifications in children who are being bullied exhibit a wide variety of signs and signals.
Keep an Eye Out for These Signs and Symptoms
Anxiety, low self-esteem, poor grades, and depression are just a few. Skipping school and experimenting with alcohol or drug use may also signal a bullying environment.
If your child is being bullied, they aren’t alone. Research shows that almost 50% of children experience some form of bullying at primary or secondary school.
There Are Several Types of Bullying
There are many types of bullying, including:
- Physical such as hitting, kicking, pushing, tripping, or damaging personal property
- Verbal like insults, name-calling, intimidation, racist or homophobic remarks, or verbal abuse
- Social bullying is more subtle and includes spreading rumors, mimicking, playing jokes to embarrass and humiliate, damaging the victim’s reputation or social acceptance, and encouraging others to exclude the person.
Cyberbullying – A 21st Century Phenomenon
Cyberbullying happens with social media photos and posts, websites, texts, emails, and chats and can be either overt or covert. This type of bullying occurs in public or private, at any time, and sometimes may only be recognized by the target – as well as the person doing the bullying. Examples of cyberbullying include:
- Abusive or hurtful posts, emails, texts, images, or videos
- Deliberately excluding others online
- Imitating others online by using their log-in or account
Take Action If You Suspect Your Child Is Being Bullied
If your child exhibits any of the above symptoms or confides in you that they are being bullied, act quickly to investigate and defuse the problem:
- Talk calmly and non-judgmentally to your child about what happened.
- Avoid putting words in your child’s mouth.
- Request an immediate meeting with the teacher after normal school hours.
- Share specific examples of the bullying and explain the impact on your child.
- Escalate the issue if necessary to the school principal, if there is no improvement or if the situation gets worse.
- Importantly, if your child is being physically abused or threatened with harm, report it to the police regardless of how the school is handling its investigation.
Bullying is never okay and no child should feel unsafe at school or the playground. You can learn more tips to share with your child on bullying and self-protection at StopBullying.gov.
We Can Help You Seek Justice for Your Child
No child should have to suffer physical or emotional injury at the hands of a bully. We know this is a traumatic experience for your whole family and we want to help you seek justice. There are bullying laws against and we can help you hold potentially liable parties legally and financially responsible for your child’s traumatic experience.
Call (516) 932-0400 to discuss your case during a free consultation.