Kids can be cruel, we all know that, but as technology continues to grow to our younger generations, it provides for an additional way to interact with others. Bullying is something that has been around since the beginning of time and has even grown to be an accepted behavior in our society. This was until bullying went viral and adults as well as children are seeing the impact it can have on others, even resulting in suicide. Here are five signs to look for that could help you as a parent recognize that your child is being bullied.
Appears nervous when receiving a text, email or voicemail
Since bullying doesn’t just stop when the school day ends anymore, victims of bullying are anxious constantly due to text messages, emails or even voicemails. If a child has a personal cellphone, other kids feel it’s okay to harass them even after school hours. In fact, kids now can continue bullying through these methods in greater detail because they don’t actually have to do it face to face. This allows kids to spread hate while hiding behind their computer or cellphones with no filter. If you notice your child is showing negative emotion after receiving a message, take action and find out what’s going on online.
Victims of bullying often have difficulty feeling lively and sociable. Because bullies work to beat down the self-esteem of their victims, children who are bullied withdraw not only during school hours but at home as well. Withdrawal comes from the victims trying to avoid any additional torment from their bullies, but rather than turning that off when they get home from school, generally it’s a behavior that begins to stick with them throughout an entire day.
Makes an abrupt change of friends
When you’re younger, friends tend to stick better than when you’re older. This is why if you notice your child suddenly hanging around with different friends, a red flag should be raised. Ask questions and get to the bottom of it. If your child refuses to talk, don’t hesitate to call their ex-friends parents. While children might not be mature enough to tell you the facts, at least other parents might have a clue as to what’s going on.
Changes in grades
If your child changes from being a stellar student to failing their classes, this is another alarming clue that there might be something going on at school beyond just learning. Grades can often indicate an underlying problem, whether it’s a personal problem or bullying. If you notice a change in your child’s grades or school performance, set up a conference with their teacher to find out more about their behavior in class and what happens during school that you’re not able to see.
Drop in self-esteem
While children often approach difficult situations by being quiet, hoping that no one notices a change in their behavior, parents are usually always on alert for changes, especially if their entire personality changes over a short period of time. When children are bullied, their self-esteem drops dramatically and it can generally be seen by everyone. By noticing your child’s self-esteem change, you can easily determine something’s wrong.
Being a parent is challenging, and with the rise of bullying, it’s not getting any easier. While you can’t always rely on your child to let you know whether or not he or she is being bullied, pay attention to these basic behavior changes above. It’s also imperative to make sure your child understands there’s always an open line of communication between them and you so that they always feel comfortable coming to you when they have a problem. Always let your children know that you love them and don’t forget to ask them about their days on a regular basis.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Jennifer Jackson is a freelance writer, focusing on smartphone technology. As a mother of two, she understands the difficulties of keeping your child safe in a technologically advanced society. This is why she consistently checks her children’s cellphones and computers and has NQ.com’s NQ Mobile anti virus software installed for advanced security.