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Signs children might be victims of bullying

Despite the best efforts of educators and parents, bullying is a problem at many schools.

According to StopBullying.gov, an official website of the United States government, as many as one in three American students say they have been bullied at school.

And the problem is not exclusive to the United States, as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research report that at least one in three adolescent students in Canada report being recent victims of bullying.

Bullied students often suffer in silence.

As a result, the onus is on parents to learn the signs that a child is a victim of bullying. Such signs are not always easy to recognize, as StopBullying.gov notes that the most common types of bullying are verbal and social.

Physical bullying happens less often, so kids who are being bullied may not exhibit physical symptoms like bruises or unexplained injuries, which are common indicators of physical bullying.

By learning the common signs of bullying, parents are in better position to recognize when their children are being bullied, whether that bullying is physical, social or verbal. Signs of bullying There are many signs of bullying and kids may not exhibit them all.

In fact, StopBullying.gov reports that some bullied children exhibit no warning signs. So in addition to learning these signs of bullying, parents can make a concerted effort to communicate with their children every day, asking youngsters about how their day went and if they encountered anything that adversely affected their mood.

• Unexplainable injuries
• Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
• Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
• Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
• Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
• Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
• Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
• Feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem
• Self-destructive behaviors, such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide Parents are urged to report any concerns about bullying to educators immediately, as research indicates bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair.

Bullying also can lead to or worsen feelings of depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior. Learn more about bullying and how to combat it at www.StopBullying.gov.

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