BULLYING! The Warning Signs

There are many warning signs that could indicate that someone is involved in bullying, either by bullying others or by being bullied. However, these warning signs may indicate other issues or problems as well. If you are a parent or educator, learn more about talking to someone about bullying.

Being Bullied

  • Comes home with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings
  • Reports losing items such as books, electronics, clothing, or jewelry
  • Has unexplained injuries
  • Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or feeling sick
  • Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams
  • Has changes in eating habits
  • Hurts themselves
  • Is very hungry after school from not eating lunch
  • Runs away from home
  • Loses interest in visiting or talking with friends
  • Is afraid of going to school or other activities with peers
  • Loses interest in school work or begins to do poorly in school
  • Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed when they come home
  • Talks about suicide
  • Feels helpless
  • Oftens feel like they are not good enough
  • Blames themselves for their problems 
  • Suddenly has fewer friends
  • Avoids certain places
  • Acts differently than usual

Bullying Others

  • Becomes violent with others
  • Gets into physical or verbal fights with others
  • Gets sent to the principal’s office or detention a lot
  • Has extra money or new belongings that can’t be explained
  • Is quick to blame others
  • Will not accept responsibility for their actions
  • Has friends who bully others
  • Needs to win or be best at everything

There is also Cyberbullying. According to the Megan Meier Foundation—a foundation created by Tina Meier after her 13-year-old daughter, Megan, took her own life as a result of being cyberbullied—approximately 34 percent of all school-aged kids have endured cyberbullying at some point in their lives.

What Is Cyberbullying?

The Cyberbullying Research Center (CRC) defines cyberbullying as a “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.” Thus, in order for someone’s actions to be considered cyberbullying, they must be:

  • Intentional,
  • Occur more than once,
  • Cause harm to someone else (whether actual or perceived), and
  • Be conducted via a technologically-based source.

It is the fourth element—the technological source—that distinguishes cyberbullying from other types of bullying, some of which include physical, verbal, and sexual.

Dr. Walter Keenan, Ph. D has created an in-depth guide into what cyberbullying looks like, it’s impact, and how to deal with it. The guide also explains the connection of cyberbullying to substance abuse use. The whole guide can be found here.

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