An August 2013 study sheds some new light on the long term effect of bullying on the bullied kid. The study dissects the adult life of the victims of bullying and what ended up happening to them after their schools years. The finding confirms a long time suspicion that we as parents have more to fear now than ever when it comes to bullying. A study from Yale University reports that victims of bullying are between 2-9 times more likely to consider suicide than children who were not bullied.
That’s not even the end of it. These kids are more prone to diseases and deficiencies like obesity, poor interpersonal relationships, delinquency, and overall mental development.
How to identify bullying when it’s happening to your kid
Usually, if bullying is going on your child will let you know with subtle signs. A lot of kids don’t want to come out and say it because it’s embarrassing; some kids don’t even know there’s anything wrong with the treatment they’re receiving depending on how long it’s been happening. Signs that your child is being bullied:
- Withdrawn, Changes in energy and communication.
- Faking sick often, more lethargy noticed throughout the day.
- Abnormally large distaste for school.
- Extreme avoidance of kids at school, limited discussion of “friends”
What to do if you feel your child is being bullied
If you think your child is being bullied, it is absolutely crucial to their development that you take action immediately. The first step is to talk to your kid. It’s important that you’re enduring and accepting; if your child senses that you’re not responding well or that they cannot trust you to not judge them, they won’t share with you. If you need more information about how to talk to your children about bullying, please see this article.
The next thing you want to do is talk to your child’s teacher about what’s going on. It’s important that the teacher does not address this directly with the “bully” until she sees it happening. If a bully is confronted due to parent involvement, the bullying could get worse. Make sure that your child’s teacher is aware of the issue and vigilant.