Any child can get bullied just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes the exact things that can make him accepted in one environment can make him a victim of bullying in another. Children who are popular, smarter or attractive can be victims of bullying but bullies also pick on children who appear easy to hurt.
Bullies generally set their sights on:
- Anyone who’s different – whether that is their looks, weight, accent, clothing or interests. Disabilities make some children an easy target.
- Those who are small or young – and not so able to defend themselves
- Those who will react quickly – popular targets are children who get upset or cry easily
- Kids who are not sporty or are poor performers at school
- Anyone who is socially anxious or struggles with shyness
How do I know that my child is being bullied?
If your child is being bullied, he will feel scared, lonely and hopeless. If you suspect that your child is being bullied, you may find it difficult to get him to admit it to you. He may feel ashamed and believe that he has brought the bullying on himself. He may think that it’s ‘dobbing’ to tell, or he may have been threatened with worse treatments if he tells.
If your child is the victim of bullying, he may:
- Feel excluded from those around him
- Try to avoid school by faking illness, or run away from school
- Want to change his route to school, or ask you to take him to school
- Get tearful at the thought of going to school
- Let his school work suffer because of his stress levels
- Resist talking to you about his day at school
- Get angry when you talk to him about what’s going on in his life
- Have some unexplained injuries
- Feel too anxious to eat
- Lose self-confidence
- Have nightmares
- Begin wetting the bed
This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include Government’s Parenting and Child Health, Bullying No Way and Better Health Channel