Warning Signs that a Child is being Bullied
Possible warning signs that a child is being bullied:
• Comes home with torn, damaged, or missing
pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings;
• Has unexplained cuts, bruises, and scratches;
• Has few, if any friends, with whom he or she
• Seems afraid of going to school, walking to and
from school, riding the school bus, or taking part
in organized activities with peers (such as clubs);
• Takes a long, “illogical” route when walking to or
• Has lost interest in school work or suddenly
begins to do poorly in school;
• Appears sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he
or she comes home;
• Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches,
or other physical ailments;
• Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams;
• Experiences a loss of appetite; or
What should you do?
1. Talk with your child. Tell your child that you are
concerned and that you’d like to help. Here are
some questions that can get the discussion going:
• “I’m worried about you. Are there any kids
at school who may be picking on you or
• “Are there any kids at school who tease you in a
• “Are there any kids at school who leave you out or
exclude you on purpose?”
• “Do you have any special friends at school this
year? Who are they? Who do you hang out with?”
• “Who do you sit with at lunch and on the bus?”
• “Are there any kids at school who you really don’t
like? Why don’t you like them? Do they ever pick
on you or leave you out of things?”
2. Talk with staff at your child’s school. Call or set up
an appointment to talk with your child’s teacher. He
or she will probably be in the best position to
understand the relationships between your child
and other peers at school. Share your concerns
about your child.
If you are not comfortable talking with your child’s
teacher, or if you are not satisfied with the
conversation, make an appointment to meet with
your child’s guidance counselor or principal to
discuss your concerns.
(1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. NY: Blackwell.
Olweus, D., Limber, S., & Mihalic, S.
(1999). The Bullying Prevention Program: Blueprints for violence prevention. Boulder, CO: Center for the Study
and Prevention of Violence.