Signs Your Kid Is Being Bullied And Hiding It
The idea of anybody bullying your baby is absolutely devastating. It’s so upsetting that it probably stirs up feelings in you like, “I want to bully the kid bullying my kid!” Of course, you know that would only make matters worse. It’s hard to identify bullying sometimes. I’m not sure that all of the anti-bullying rhetoric and lectures has really slowed down bullying, so much as it has simply taught bullies to cover up their actions more—a chilling thought. You would hope that your child would come to you with any problem, but when it comes to bullying, your child can fear that “snitching” will only make the bullying increase. If bullying is happening, though, and you aren’t alerted to it, then you can’t stop it. Unfortunately, today, it is often up to the parent to detect bullying, because their kids won’t report it. From there, you can address it. Here are signs your child is being bullied and he’s hiding it.
Fake sick days
Your child regularly claims to not be feeling well and that he needs to stay home from school, but you don’t detect any true symptoms. He is adamant that he is sick, and throws tantrums, doing whatever he can to get out of going to school. But he didn’t used to be this way.
Early pickup requests
The school often calls stating that your child says he isn’t feeling well and needs to be picked up. But this can happen on days when he went to school seeming happy and healthy—it seems very sudden.
Walking home a weird way
You’ve detected that he’s started walking home a strange route, or waiting for a later bus than the one discussed. It’s possible that the bullying occurs on his route home, and he’s trying to get around that.
Difficulty listing friends
When you ask who his friends are, he can’t really name anybody. He seems to be making friends up, or struggling to tell you much about them. He may be isolating himself, to avoid the bullying.
He’ll suddenly seem to have a muscle ache or a limp or a hand he’s favoring, and he won’t tell you what it’s from. Or his story won’t make sense—he’ll say it’s from softball, but he didn’t play softball that week.
He’s suddenly irritable at home, losing his temper and lashing out at you over the slightest criticism. He’s at his wit’s end because of the bullying at school.
An interest in weapons
He’s taken an interest in weapons. You’ve found on his browser history that he’s been looking up weapons. You’ve possibly even found a weapon that he’s tried to sneak into his backpack. This could be for self-defense.
An interest in fighting
He’s taken an interesting in fighting, but he never cared about it before. He’d like to take boxing classes, or he’s been watching online tutorials about self-defense.
He’s bullying his sibling
Kids tend to pass on bullying when they’re being bullied. They need a way to release their rage. If you notice your child, who is usually very nice to his sibling, suddenly bullying his sibling, it could be because he himself is a victim at school.
Skipping activities he loves
Your child says he wants to sit out softball practice or the school bake sale—events he typically enjoys and is enthusiastic about. It could be because he is trying to avoid his bully.
Skipping events he’d like
He suddenly doesn’t want to go to the birthday party or the field trip that he was just recently looking forward to. It’s possible that the bully made a threat about what he’d do if your child showed up there.
He’s starving when he gets home
Your child gets home from school starving, and devours every snack in the house. This doesn’t make sense because you send him to school with plenty of food, and he claims he ate it. It’s possible that his bully steals his food.
A surprising excess of homework
From your understanding, the kids should only have X amount of hours of homework each week. But your child seems to be doing twice that much. It’s possible that his bully is forcing him to do his homework.
Your child’s self-esteem seems to have dropped. He’ll make a tiny mistake, and he’ll berate himself. His criticism of himself seems far out of proportion. He may be repeating things the bully says.
Unjustified fear of you
When you exhibit slight disappointment in your kid, he flinches or cowers. He seems afraid of you, but you’ve never given him reason to be. He may just be living in a constant state of fear, because of his bully.