Bullying is becoming a recurring thing in schools in Nigeria and around the world with a number of these cases even left unreported.
The Anti-Bullying Week is observed every year in the third week of November in a bid to raise more awareness, with this year’s theme encouraging students to reach out.
Recognizing that bullying has a long-term effect on the victim’s mental health and quality of life, is a call for proactive action to be taken by both schools and parents.
But first, schools and communities need to be able to identify bullying cases before they can successfully curb it and build a safe community that welcomes all children with open arms. So here are 5 signs to help know if a child is being bullied in school.
5 vital signs that a child is being bullied
- Sudden withdrawal from friends
- Trouble sleeping and nightmares
- Unexplained injuries such as bruises, cuts etc.
- Dropping grades in school
- Lack of appetite/excessive eating
1. Sudden withdrawal from friends
When children who used to have and talk about their friends suddenly says they have no friends and now withdraw from social activities involving school friends, that may be a sign of bullying. Especially if their body language changes negatively when you mention the names of those ‘friends’.
2. Trouble sleeping and nightmares
A child that is being bullied will likely have trouble sleeping. Kids who wake up throughout the night, wake with bad dreams, sleep more, or state that they are always tired, could be victims of bullying. They seem to always wake up tired from their sleep.
3. Unexplained injuries
If a child constantly comes home with cuts or bruises without a good explanation, or complains of headaches after coming back from school, that is an issue. Parents ought to watch out for this because these children may not come out for fear of what the bullies may have threatened them with.
4. Dropping grades in school
This is a very strong result of a child being bullied. As a result of bullying, a child who used to be a high-flyer in school may begin to lose interest in school work and classes generally. This ultimately makes their overall performance in school drop.
5. Lack of appetite/excessive eating
A child being bullied may be having his/her lunch snatched by the bullies, hence, they may tend to overeat at home. But for others, it may result in them not eating as they are supposed to as they do not feel well enough mentally to eat.
The list of warning signs to detect bullying are endless but the above signs are the most obvious pointers to help adults know if a child is being bullied in school.