Special Report

20 Warning Signs Your Child May Be Getting Bullied at School

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6. Sudden changes in eating habits

Changes in eating habits are a real sign, according to Ellis. “When depressed, some people binge eat. Others don’t pay attention to food because they are so depressed.”

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7. Frequent nightmares

Bullying is an emotional trauma, Hertzog said. Knowing he or she has to go to school in the morning, a child may be nervous. This can result in trouble falling asleep, waking up frequently, or even nightmares. Being tired in the morning may be a sign that the child is having trouble sleeping.

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8. Declining grades

This could be the result of a general change in attitude towards school, Hertzog said. “The child doesn’t want to be there, is distracted in class — all of these things add up and are compounded.” Depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, too, can contribute to having problems with schoolwork.

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9. Self-harm

Self-harm is not an uncommon response to bullying, Hertzog said. It’s a very private way of dealing with emotional pain, she added. Other self-destructive behaviors may include talking about hurting themselves. Research shows that children who have been victims of bullying in elementary school are almost five times more likely to engage in self-harm when they are teenagers.

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10. Changing route to or from school

Kids know they can’t push other children around in front of adults and that’s why most of the bullying happens outside the view of teachers, parents, or other adults, according to Hertzog. If a child suddenly decides he or she wants to go to school using a different route, it may be because someone is being aggressive towards them.