10 Signs Your Child is Being Bullied at School

As another school year starts, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate your child’s wellbeing. Do any of the warning signs listed below apply to your child? If so, your child could be experiencing bullying. Although we hope our children are never the bully or the bullied, sadly, bullying is very present and very real at school. Some children who are being bullied at school do not ask for help, so it’s important to know the warning signs.

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10 signs your child is being bullied at school. Tips for moms, parents, and teachers to know about kids and school and warning signs for bullying. Advice for how to respond.

10 Signs Your Child is Being Bullied at School

  1. Difficulty explaining (or can’t explain) injuries or having reoccurring injuries
  2. Having damaged or lost possessions (including their clothing, books, toys, electronics, etc.)
  3. Frequently feeling sick or faking sick (examples: frequent headaches or stomach aches)
  4. Changing eating habits (including skipping meals, binge eating, coming home from school hungry because they didn’t eat lunch, etc.)
  5. Frequently having nightmares or having other difficulty sleeping
  6. Not wanting to go to school or ride the bus, losing interest in schoolwork, or getting worse grades than usual
  7. Suddenly avoiding social situations or losing friends
  8. Beginning to bully younger siblings or kids (sometimes they start to mimic what is happening to them)
  9. Feeling helpless, having a decreased self-esteem, or having other personality changes (including being more reserved or sad)
  10. Having self-destructive behaviors (examples: hurting themselves, blaming themselves, trying to run away from home, or talking about suicide)

Tips for Dealing with Bullying

It is important to note that not every child who is bullied at school will show these specific signs of bullying. Remember, your child may not want to tell you that they are being bullied. However, if you really think your child is being bullied at school, don’t ignore the problem–take action! (Click here for advice on how to proceed and address bullying.)

Whether you do or do not think your child is currently being bullied at school, it’s a good idea to talk with your child about bullying. Because communication is a crucial relationship building block, it’s important to show your child you are listening. (Read our post 7 Ways to Show Your Child You are Listening.) As you listen to them, the trust between you will strengthen, and your child will begin to see you more as an ally, someone who they can confide in. Click here for a great resource to help you know how to talk to your child about it and what you, as the parent, can do and say.

There are also great written resources available that you can give your child. For example, The Survival Guide to Bullying: Written by a Teen covers everything from cyber bulling to how to deal with fear. Aija Mayrock’s deep experiences and sincere suggestions is a good read for any young adult, especially those experiencing bullying.

Survival Guide to Bullying

Many thanks to stopbullying.gov for the useful information regarding this topic. Please visit their website for more information regarding signs your child is being bullied at school, signs your child is bullying, cyber bullying, preventing bully, responding to bullying, and more.

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23 thoughts on “10 Signs Your Child is Being Bullied at School

    1. Thanks for your comment, Logan! It’s definitely an important topic to keep in mind. Glad you enjoyed the post, and feel free to share with other parents you think may benefit.

  1. This is something I have seen on more than one occasion with my kids, and it always frustrates me. Fortunately they have learned how to be advocates for themselves.

  2. My son is 7 yrs old and was being bullied at school and on the bus last year. He was going through most of the signs mentioned here. I went to the school board and the principal and nothing was being done. I ended up taking him off the bus, and when I started taking him back and forth to school he would start crying not wanting to go. His teacher last

  3. My son is 7 yrs old and was being bullied at school and on the bus last year. He was going through most of the signs mentioned here..

    1. Rhonda, thank you for your comment. I’m so sorry to hear that your son was going through this! It breaks my heart! Has it been better for him this year?

    1. Thank you, I agree! And unfortunately with new technologies there are even more ways to bully now too. That’s why informing parents and adult figures of the warning signs is so important!

  4. My thirteen y.o. niece has gotten jumped twice by bullies. The even had others recording it on their cell phones. My niece has ADD. She tends to hang with the problem kids because she is more accepted by them. She does not start the fighting. She try’s to walk away. We had to press charges this time. They continue to post things on social media. She’s afraid of everything now.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that! No kid should ever have to deal with bullying. Bullying is a very real issue that can cause serious damage. Thank you for sharing your experience and all the best to you, your niece, and your family!

  5. So important.
    I’d add that if your young child seizes on the idea of homeschooling it may be an indication that something is going on at school. (Bullying from classmates or the teacher.)

    1. Hi, Carol! It’s so great that you’re bringing attention to this issue. I love your message on the video that your daughter can be happy no matter what other people say. Best of luck in your anti-bullying campaign!

  6. Great post! Although I think Lori’s comment began to touch on another important note. Not all bullies look the same, some of the worst bullies can be teachers, or other school officials. Its always a good idea to check in and see how kids feel about their teachers and other authoritative figures! How they respond to other adults and authoritative figures may be an indication that there are problems at school too.

    1. Jenn, perfectly said! So important to remember that bullies may not just be other kids but could be adults too. Thank you for bringing that up! The key is to have open communication with your kid(s).

  7. This s a great article. I think all parents should communicate with their child/children. My mother never used to talk to me as a child, she always used to say “children should be seen, but never heard”
    This caused a lot of problems as when bad things happened to me as a child I thought I had no one to confide in, so used to cry a lot, this used to frustrate my mother, and instead of asking me what was wrong she would just scream at me and beat me instead. Now at the age of 28, I still have contact with my mother, but I still feel I am not able to talk to her about much. I mainly see her for my little brothers sake, I’ve always been close to him and try to be someone who he can confide in.

    1. Catherine, I’m so sorry to hear that! That must have been so hard. Communication is so important! Kids need to feel heard, understood, and loved!

  8. Such an important topic and great article. My 7 year old daughter was bullied by her 2nd grade teacher. The experience left her traumatized and not trusting of other adults. She displayed a lot of these symptoms. Unfortunately, we were pushed out of the school while that bully continues to roam that campus and terrorize innocent children. It’s scary to think that besides mean children we also have to worry about mean teachers who are tenured and untouchable. 😔

    1. Gracie, how terrible for you and your daughter. Thank you for bringing up that point–sometimes it is adults doing the bullying. Important to note!

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