It is very important that kids feel safe at school. However, that is not always the case. Many kids, today, are being negatively impacted by bullies at their school. Kids that are bullied experience depression, they have thoughts of suicide, suffer from low self-esteem, and usually, they have poor grades. They also end up having mental health problems and some go on to abuse drugs. They are more likely to skip school or drop out of school. Some go as far as to retaliate through extreme violence.
Signs that your child is being bullied includes changes in eating habits, such as skipping meals or binge eating, declining grades, unexplainable injuries, frequent nightmares, afraid of riding the school bus, and loss or destroyed personal items, such as books. Other signs include frequent headaches, loss of interest in school work, running away from home, cutting themselves, or even talking about suicide. Some kids begin to bully their younger siblings, wait to get home to go to the bathroom, and are afraid to be alone.
Many times kids will not let their parents know that they are being bullied because of fear of retaliation. They may also be afraid that they may be rejected by their friends or classmates or even be called a coward for not standing up for themselves. Some kids may be afraid that their parents may think that they are weak and punish them.
The long-term effects of bullying are harmful no matter whether the bullying is verbal or physical. When bullied, kids need an adult help. If an adult see the signs of bullying or if the signs intensify, it is important to seek help for the child from a trained mental health professional.