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Recent technology has created circumstances that enable bullying. Bullying impacts a person's life in all aspects and not just a child's academic environment. When a child is bullied their social emotional well being is jeopardized. Parents will see significant symptoms in a child's behavior that occur due to bullying.
It's important for parents to keep open communication with children, but keeping good observation of children and behavioral changes is a key to picking up on a child being bullied. Warning signs to watch for are simple things such as missing toys, school supplies or belongings as well as more severe changes such as difficulty sleeping, nightmares, or bedwetting. Such physical changes are a sign of a child being extremely stressed. Children being bullied may also have stomachaches, or want to stay home from school. This last one is a key factor in acknowledging that there is something occurring in your child's school that is unhealthy. A child may do anything to avoid school, and may pretend to be sick more often than usual. It may get to the point that a child who is being bullied will dread going to school.
Other serious warning signs are changes in eating habits and self-harming behaviors, where a child might hit them self when playing with toys. It's important to be mindful of how a child usually plays as when being bullied children may simulate violence when playing with toys. For example, a toy may represent a bully and the child will make it suffer in his or her play world. There may be angry outbursts, where a child destroys toys or acts excessively harsh.
A change in a child's mood, where a vibrant child becomes more and more down is concerning to any parent. When a child is experiencing bullying, unexplained change in personality, becoming more withdrawn, closed, not opening up can baffle parents even more. Children may not always tell parents what is going on with them, but such a change is justified enough for parents to be concerned and seek professional help. By providing a safe environment for the child to talk about their experiences, parents can provide the much needed support to their child, allowing them to know that there are people who care about them and want to help with what may be difficult to talk about.
When it comes to bullying parents cannot assume that their child will tell them everything and let their parents know verbally that they are being bullied because there is serious psychological infliction to the child. A child being bullied experiences an increase in self doubt. They may blame themselves for things and ask questions such as "Am I bad?" Parents have to be wise, and be aware of the signs because even the witnessing of a bullying event can impact a child's life.
If it feels like the issue is too big for a parent to handle alone, there are valuable resources available which can offer assistance, such as a school counselor, psychologist, or other mental health professionals. When a child is repeatedly bullied, the symptoms alone are alarming enough to indicate that the child needs professional counseling. No matter how much love and acceptance a parent provides for their child, the tools a therapist can provide to both parents and children can be an invaluable part of the recovery and strengthening process. Being bullied is a trauma that needs professional counseling.