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Warning Signs of Bullying
Parents who are concerned about the possibility of bullying naturally want to be able to identify warning signs if either their child is engaging in bullying of others or has become the victim of a bully. This article reviews warning signs of bullying.
Warning Signs that May Reveal that a Child Is Bullying Others
Depending on your child's personality and your own views on morality, you may be more concerned that your child could become a bully than that he or she would be a bullying victim. There are several types of behavior that might arouse this concern:
Note that any of these signs could be an indication of a totally different issue. A child who is rude and demanding may simply need firmer discipline. A child who gets into physical fights may need another outlet, such as a sport. A child who can't control impulses may have AD/HD. A child who has new possessions that you don't recognize may be stealing. A child who hangs with tough kids may have been the victim of bullying and chosen this way of protecting him- or herself. And a child who is spending a lot of time online may be watching the entire set of episodes of "Lost" or trying to master chess. For these reasons, it is best not to jump to conclusions about the causes of these warning signs, but to investigate further.
Warning Signs that May Reveal that a Child Is Being Bullied
A child on the other end of the bullying may also show behaviors that can either signal that he or she is a victim of bullying or other things entirely, so they must be further investigated. Here are some behaviors that should draw your attention:
Alternative explanations include the following. A child whose possessions seem to be disappearing could be gambling them. A loss of friends can occur naturally as children develop and move in different directions. Changes in eating or sleeping could result from a physical illness or injury. Grades getting worse could come about due to the need for vision correction or hearing assistance or AD/HD. Depression, sadness, anger, and frustration can all be normal and natural reactions to the vicissitudes of life. A loss of self-esteem may come about if a child does something he or she feels guilty about. Avoiding people or school can come about because of a crush or a failed romantic relationship. And fights could be evidence of gang involvement. Any of these behaviors are serious enough to deserve your attention and to be checked out.
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