Is Your Child Being Bullied? Check for These 11 Bullying Warning Signs

By Sensei Serge Sognonvi and Carmen Sognonvi
Originally published at

Kids who get bullied often don’t tell anyone out of shame or embarrassment at being victimized. If you’re a parent, this is troubling because even if you wanted to help your child, you may not realize there’s a problem.

So how do you know if your child is being bullied? What are the warning signs in victims of bullying?

Here are 11 warning signs of bullying to look out for, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration. Take note if your child…

1. Has personal belongings that are damaged or missing altogether.

If your child’s clothes are torn or books are damaged, or if your child can’t explain why he’s missing certain items, it’s possible that a bully is deliberately vandalizing or stealing his property.

2. Has physical injuries that can’t be explained.

If you notice cuts, bruises, or scratches on your child and she’s reluctant to explain where they came from, it’s possible that a bully is causing your child physical harm.

3. Is socially isolated and/or has few friends.

Bullies often target kids who are less popular. So if your child has few friends, this social isolation could put him at higher risk of being bullied. Also, bullied children often withdraw from friends they used to spend time with as a way to deal with the stress of being bullied.

4. Seems to fear everything associated with school.

If your child seems to be afraid of going to school, riding the school bus, walking to and from school, or participating in extra-curricular activities at school, it could be a sign that she’s being bullied by someone at school.

5. Takes the scenic route to school.

If you notice that your child is taking a strange, round-about route when walking to or from school, it could be a sign that he’s trying to avoid running into a bully.

6. Starts getting bad grades.

Being bullied can cultivate a fear and hatred of school in your child, and this can affect their grades. If you notice a sudden drop in your child’s academic performance, or a sudden lack of interest in school, this could be a bullying warning sign.

7. Seems withdrawn or depressed.

If your child seems depressed or sad when she gets home from school, it could be an indication that she’s dealing with a bully at school.

8. Frequently says he or she’s not feeling well.

As we discussed in our post on the effects of bullying on children, kids who are bullied are far more likely to report feeling physically sick. If your child frequently complains about having stomachaches, headaches, or a sore throat, it could be that bullying-related stress is wearing down his immune system.

9. Doesn’t sleep well or always has nightmares.

Since bullying can have a severe impact on a child’s psyche, the stress of being bullied doesn’t go away after bedtime. If you notice that your child often has bad dreams, or has trouble sleeping, this could be a bullying warning sign.

10. Loses appetite or begins to overeat.

Kids who are bullied will often exhibit a change in their eating patterns. Some kids may lose their appetite and just push food around on their plate. Other kids may begin to over-eat, using food as a stress reliever. If you notice any significant change in your child’s appetite, this could be a sign that he’s being bullied at school.

11. Develops low-self-esteem.

If your child used to be confident and sociable, but now suddenly seems withdrawn and shy, this could be a sign that she’s being bullied. Bullying can often shatter a child’s self-esteem and lead to a low self-image and loss of self-worth.

Free Download: Special Report on Bullying Prevention

Fill out the form below to request a free PDF download of our special report:
“How to Prevent Bullying: A Guide for Parents and Educators”

This special report is an excellent resource, whether you’re a parent who’s concerned about your child getting bullied, or you’re a teacher looking ideas on how to prevent bullying at school.

By filling out the form above, you’ll also receive a complimentary subscription to Black Belt Success, the email newsletter from Urban Martial Arts.