Signs of Bullying
Knowing the signs of bullying can help give a voice to children. Any child or young person can be bullied for any reason. Children can be bullied if they are perceived to be an ‘easy target’, or different in some way, for example because of their:
- Race or ethnicity
- Sexual orientation
- Background or home life
- Low self-esteem, anxiety, shyness, or lack of assertiveness
No single indicator will tell you that your child is definitely being bullied, but there are some signs to look out for, including:
- Belongings getting lost or damaged
- Coming home with physical injuries, like unexplained bruises
- Torn clothes
- Being afraid to go to school
- Being mysteriously ‘ill’ each morning
- Skipping school
- Doing less well at school
- Being nervous or losing confidence
- Becoming quiet and withdrawn
- Asking for or stealing money (to give to bullies)
- Problems eating or sleeping
- Bullying other children
What can parents and carers do?
You should take action if you suspect or discover your own child or a child you know is being bullied, or if you are concerned that your own child is bullying others.
- Talk to the parents/carers of children who are being bullied or might be bullying others.
- Talk to teachers/the school.
- If it’s serious, you should talk to Children’s Social Care (see Reporting Concerns).
- Read Brighton & Hove City Council’s leaflet for parents here, which includes advice for talking to the school about the problem as well as ways to support your child
- Read NSPCC’s advice on bullying and cyberbullying
- Check out online advice such as The Anti Bullying Network or Bullying UK
If a child is in immediate danger, you should contact the police by calling 999.