We all hope that our children are having positive, safe experiences when we send them off to school for the day, but unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Bullying has become a major issue in schools all across the country. Whether it's teasing, online taunting, or taking a child's lunch and throwing it out, bullying shows up in all forms.
If your son or daughter is dealing with bullying at school, they may be hesitant to come forward due to embarrassment or fear of making the issue worse. Here are some subtle signs that your kid is the victim of bullying:
They come down with illnesses more than they should
It's normal for children to get sick here and there, but if your son or daughter is constantly complaining about headaches, stomachaches, or sore throats, something else may be at play. The stress of bullying can have a major impact on the immune system, so there's a chance they really are dealing with these physical symptoms. It's also possible that they're using fake illnesses to get out of having to go to school.
They're starving when they get home
Sure, they may have worked up an appetite during the day, but this could also be because they don't feel comfortable sitting and eating during lunch. It could also be because another student has stolen their lunch or taken their lunch money.
They've changed friend groups
If they always used to hang out with a particular group and suddenly those names aren't mentioned anymore, you might inquire about where those friends have gone.
They put up a fight about going to school
When it becomes a challenge to get your son or daughter off to school each morning, you should inquire about the reason for the hesitation. Are they struggling in a particular class? Is there an issue with a teacher? Or perhaps they're dealing with a bully.
They don't want to talk about their day
Kids who are enjoying success in school want to tell you all about their part in the school play, the question they got right in class, and their new friend. Students who are struggling with bullying won't want to talk about the day they just faced.
Lauren Levine is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications and websites including The Charlotte Observer, U.S. News & World Report, American Way magazine, The Huffington Post, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Thrillist, Thought Catalog, and others.