Students who fall victim to bullies often begin to show signs of the abuse in a relatively short period of time. Subtle changes appear at first, and progressively begin to get worse as the bullying continues. Some students are bullied at school, some at their jobs. Others are the victims of cyber bullying where they are attacked through social media sites, chat rooms or emails. No matter where the bullying occurs, the results can be devastating. Learn about the Signs a Student is being Bullied!
Signs a Student is Being Bullied #1: Emotional Rollercoaster – Students who are being bullied often act as if they are riding an emotional rollercoaster. They may seem fine one minute, but are lashing out at friends and siblings the next. Students who were once outgoing but now stay in their rooms instead of socializing with friends may be having bullying issues. Once they begin to fear for their own safety, they retreat into where they feel the most comfortable. They eliminate the opportunity to be abused by withdrawing away from society.
They lash out if they are questioned or put in an uncomfortable position. They may cry for no apparent reason other than at that moment, they are under extreme stress. Their emotions often swing like a pendulum going from happy to sad in a matter of a few minutes. Students who are being bullied often times don’t feel like anyone will understand so they refuse to talk about the situation. Their biggest fear is that if someone finds out the bullying will only get worse.
Signs a Student is Being Bullied #2: Changes in Personal Habits – A bullied student’s personal habits are often the first to change. They refuse to eat. Their sleep patterns are disrupted. In some instances, they have nightmares that prevent them from falling back asleep. Students who experience bullying often spend so much time worrying about what is going to happen next, they refuse to take care of their own necessities. The high level of stress caused from worrying can almost completely wipe out their appetite. When they do eat, they often complain of nausea or a stomach ache.
Sleeping is one of the first things to be affected when a student is bullied. As their mind is constantly occupied with fears revolving around what the bully will do next or when they will see them again, the student’s mind tends to race going over each uncertainty one at a time. The stress builds until a restful sleep is out of the question.
Signs a Student is Being Bullied #3 : Poor School Performance – If a parent reads an article on bullying, the one thing they will tend to pick up from the piece is that bullying will undoubtedly affect a student’s academic performance. Most cases of bullying are perpetrated on school grounds; which often means students are often preoccupied with protecting themselves while they are there. The last thing on their minds is their homework. When in class, they will often be more interested in watching the door than doing their homework or listening to the teacher.
Athletic and club performance can also be affected. Students who, at one time showed promise as a quality athlete may allow their talent to go by the wayside if they believe it is drawing undesirable attention. People tend to forget, it isn’t just the unpopular kids who get bullied. All star athletes are targets as well, sometimes bullied by students who didn’t make the team or feel they are being overshadowed by someone younger than themselves.
Signs a Student is Being Bullied #4: Unexplained Injuries – Students who exhibit signs of abuse such as bruising, black eyes or unexplained cuts, may have received those injuries from someone who was bullying them. Common examples of students trying to hide physical injuries include wearing long sleeve shirts and turtle neck sweaters in warm weather. Boys who participate in contact sports may have their fair share of injuries on a regular basis. When injuries begin to appear away from the playing field and have no apparent cause parents should begin to question where they are coming from.
When bullying produces physical injuries, parents need to take step up their efforts in finding the bully and eliminating their access to the student. In this case, prevention is the best policy. Parents and teachers alike should work together to determine who is the aggressor and do what needs to be done to remove them from the equation. If the perpetrator is another student, isolating one from another is an option. If the physical injuries are severe enough, the parents of the bullied student may be able to press charges in an attempt to get them some type of help to deal with any anger issues they may have.
Signs a Student is Being Bullied #5: Changes in Attitude – A change in the student’s attitude is another indicator that they are being bullied. A normally punctual student who begins to turn in assignments late or show up at school well after the first bell may be trying to hide from a bully. A student who once took great pride in their appearance, but now spends little time taking care of their personal needs may be suffering from depression. Not caring how another person feels or if they reach a goal they have set for themselves could be indicators that a student is being bullied by another student.
A student’s attitude about school, their appearance and their friendships can speak volumes about the stresses they find themselves under. While normal levels of stress may affect one aspect of their lives, bullying can devastate all three shaking a student’s world to its core. Bullies rarely choose one threat, but employ several to get the results they desire.
Signs a Student is Being Bullied#6: Mysterious Illnesses – Students who experience mysterious symptoms of illnesses may be looking for ways to get out of going to school or attending functions where they know a certain person or bully may be. Stomach aches, headaches and dizziness are just a few of the symptoms kids describe when trying to avoid going to school. Students adamantly will declare the symptoms exist, even though parents can find no justifiable cause.
Students who get to the point where they are making themselves physically ill or who are faking an illness to be able to stay home are having issues in one or more areas. They could be having trouble in a class or with a teacher. A bully may be threatening them with bodily injury or harm. No matter what the reason, the parents need to find the cause and address it as quickly as possible. Students who are allowed to live in fear often let it to take control of their lives, limiting their activities and preventing them from achieving their goals.