JMHS Blog

How to Detect Signs of Bullying

Written by James Madison High School on Monday, 12 March 2018. Posted in For Parents

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With between one-quarter and one-third of U.S. children admitting to being bullied, it’s no wonder parents are concerned. Many of these parents are opting to enroll their teen in a virtual high school. Often, young adults who feel alienated among their peers thrive in an online academic environment. But because bullied teens often hesitate to confide in an adult, parents should be on the lookout for indicators in their child’s behavior that something may be wrong. Being schooled in the signs of bullying can help you take steps to intervene.

Less Interest in School

  • Avoiding school. A bullied child who previously enjoyed going to school may now dread it, sometimes to the point of feigning illness to stay home. In other cases, students avoid certain areas of the school or take a different route to get there so they can avoid being harassed.
  • Lower grades. Parents often note that their children's grades drop when they are being mistreated by peers.
  • Difficulty concentrating. Children who feel threatened at school will likely have difficulty concentrating in class and experience lower self-esteem.

Sudden Changes in Behavior

  • Atypical behavior. Children who are picked on may suddenly become clingy and fearful, or angry and withdrawn. You may notice mood swings, too. Sometimes, alienated students project bullying behaviors onto their siblings or other children.
  • Physical signs. You may notice your teen frequently coming home with unexplained cuts and bruises. He may often complain of headaches, stomach aches, or generally not feeling well. Additionally, he may have nightmares or difficulty sleeping.
  • Lost or damaged items. If your child begins "losing" personal items at school--money, clothing, books, electronics--a bully may be the culprit. If personal belongings aren't stolen outright, they may turn up destroyed or damaged.
  • Coming home hungry. If your child comes home hungry every day, it's possible that a classmate is taking her lunches or lunch money.

Isolation

  • Loss of friends. Your teen may suddenly have fewer friends, report feeling lonely, or relate that she's been rejected by the "in" crowd.
  • Self-destructive behaviors. At the extreme level, children who feel ostracized at school may exhibit behaviors such as running away, harming themselves, or even talking about suicide.

If you suspect your child is being bullied at school, don't hesitate to get help now. Together with your teen, you can also explore the possibility of enrolling in a virtual high school. Whether for a few semesters or to graduate with a degree, online high school offers teens a chance to regroup and excel, without the trauma brought on by bullying.

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James Madison High School

James Madison High School

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