You're child comes home from school, and you wonder if something's wrong. They're worried about going back the next day, but they won't tell you why. It's natural to wonder if your child is the victim of bullying - but why is your child keeping it from you?
Opening up is uncomfortable.
It makes us feel vulnerable. And for children who aren't sure if they're being bullied, they may not know how to put this into words.
Bullying includes physical and verbal bullying, but it can also include emotional/relational bullying, such as being told "You can't sit with us," or "You can't be friends with this person." These types of behaviors are harder to root out, and your child is left feeling uncomfortable and yucky, without necessarily knowing why.
Behaviors to look for:
Your child may be hesitant to go to school each day, may be experiencing physiological symptoms of stress including headaches/stomachaches, or may be tearful each morning.
Other kids may start acting out more, become more bossy with younger siblings, or start getting into trouble at school.
Be on the lookout for regression.
Parents should always be on the lookout for any sudden changes in behavior or regression, especially with previously established routines like bed time or using the toilet appropriately.
Bring up your concerns with your child's teacher, and if they seem to brush of your comments, it is absolutely acceptable to talk with the principal, or someone higher up.
Teachers have a unique ability to shape the classroom setting, but they might not notice every small social interaction going on. And if you're child is afraid of bringing up concerns with you, its very likely that they haven't told their teacher either.
And if you'd like to read more, you can find my earlier post on anger, anxiety, and bullying right here.
If you're concerned about bullying, or thinking that your child may need counseling because of it, you can contact Kelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelsey specializes in anxiety and anger management for kids and teens, from age 4 through college, and you can experience panic attacks at any age. Kelsey's office is located in Webster Groves, and she works with clients around the St. Louis, MO area, including Brentwood, Webster Groves, Town and Country, Creve Couer, Ladue, and Clayton. You can email her at email@example.com with follow up questions.