Thursday, March 15, 2012

Is my child being bullied?

Many children feel ashamed about being the target of a bully. They think they should b able to stand up for themselves and may be afraid to tell their parents or other adults.

The following signs may indicate your child is being bulled:
·         Make up excuses to avoid going to school.
·         Drop in grades.
·         Wants to be driven or walked to and from school.
·         Has torn clothes and unexplained bruises.
·         Need extra money.
·         Is hungry after school because lunch or lunch money was taken.
·         Shows fear, anxiety.
·         Sleep patterns change, or has nightmares.
·         Shows sadness and/or depression, talks of suicide.
·         Has headaches, stomach aches.
·         Has angry outburst.
·         Withdraws.
·         Loses possession, such as jackets, toys, shoes.

Bullies pick on certain children for all kinds of reasons. Adults must help children understand they are not at fault if they become victims or targets of bullies. Children need to believe that differences among people are wonderful – it’s what makes us unique and interesting. Targets of bullies do not need to change. Bullies need to change.

What’s a parent to do? Ask your children directly if he or she is being bullied.  To open a discussion, you might say, “Sometimes one child picks on other children. This happened when I went to school and it still happens today. It’s not right and children who are picked on are not to blame. It’s my responsibility to keep you safe. Are you having any problems being bullied?”

Arrange a time to talk to school personnel if there is a problem at school or an adult leader if the problem is at a community center, club or other activity. If school personnel are not responsive, remind them that schools are responsible for keeping students safe.

For more information, check out the Hillsborough County Bully Buster’s Website at

Report a bully and remain anonymous by calling 1-800-873-TIPS (8477)
Or text your tips to: C R I M E S (274637)

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