If you haven’t looked at any bullying statistics lately, the numbers might shock you. Studies show that one out of every four kids is bullied, and 64% of children who are bullied do not report it. Being able to recognize when a child is being bullied is extremely important, especially when they are too afraid to speak up.
Here are seven signs that a child is being bullied and not telling anyone:
1. Changes In Behavior
Sudden personality or behavioral changes can result from bullying. When a child is bullied, their self-esteem is greatly affected. Eventually, their low self-worth will affect their attitude and their behavior.
2. Unexplained Injuries
If a child is being physically bullied, you may start to notice injuries that they are unable to explain, such as bruises and swollen areas. If they are have no explanation for their injuries when confronted, they may be trying to hide the fact that they are being bullied.
3. Not Wanting To Go To School
If a child suddenly stops wanting to go to school, there’s a good chance they are being bullied. Instead of writing it off as stubborn behavior, have a conversation about it. If they are adamant about not wanting to go, there’s a reason.
4. Changes In Eating Habits
Bullying can affect a child’s eating habits, especially if they are being bullied about their weight. A child might stop eating, put themselves on a diet or show signs of an eating disorder. Even if they aren’t being bullied about their weight, a child may show changes in eating habits due to anxiety and depression.
5. Trouble In School
According to the CDC, “Students who experience bullying are at an increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression.” A child who is being bullied may experience a drop in grades due to fear, depression and loss of focus.
6. Self-Destructive Habits
The longer the bullying continues, the more a child will struggle with mental health. Their low self-worth may cause self-destructive habits such as self-harm, an eating disorder or substance abuse.
If you have a feeling that a child is being bullied, trust your instincts. If you feel like something is wrong, it probably is. Whether it’s your own child or someone else’s, don’t ignore that gut feeling. As an adult, it’s important to get involved.