Bullying Behaviours and Being Bullied

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Bullying behaviours and being bullied by someone in children and adolescents is common.

In many ways dealing with situations where people disagree is a vital learning curve in how to deal with people in general. Bullying behaviours and being bullied by someone however is a very different behaviour altogether. Bullying is a repeated psychological, physical or social tormenting of one person by another or a group. It can happen face to face, at a distance by rumours or exclusion or even using technology.

It is important as a parent to keep an eye out for signs that your child or adolescent is bullying or being bullied.

Indicators of a bullying victim include:

  • Changes in their behaviour
  • Reduced self-esteem
  • Newly fearful and anxious
  • Changes in friendships and what they say about their friends
  • Loss of friends
  • Not wanting to participate or attend
  • Changes in mood – often teary
  • Drop in performance at school

Physical changes

  • Ripped clothing
  • More bruises or scratches than normal
  • Missing or broken belongings
  • Drop in physical health

In the case of cyber-bullying, some of the above will also apply but may also include:

  • Receiving random calls, emails, notes or even postal items
  • Hiding their online activities
  • Seeming anxious when they receive a message
  • Being upset after reading messages
  • Seeming hesitant to go online but spending more time then seems normal online
  • Withdrawing from normally pleasurable activities and friends

Your child may possibly be the bully. In order to identify whether they are, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your child the dominant member of a group?
  • Do they tease or torment one person inside or outside the group?
  • Do they isolate one person and pick on them mentally, verbally or even physically?
  • Do they lack compassion for this person?
  • Do they talk about this person behind their back and seek to exclude them.

Whether you are dealing with a bully or a victim of bullying, as parents it is important to seek help for yourself and your child. Speaking with a psychologist can make all the difference.

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