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The effects of bullying

What are the effects of bullying on children? Often when we talk about bullying the focus is on the bully’s behaviour and trying to stop the immediate acts of bullying but what are the hidden effects of bullying that we don’t necessarily see at the time.

Children who are being bullied will often wait a considerable length of time before raising the issue with a parent/teacher. During this time frame there are a wide range of effects that can indicate that your child is being bullied.

Some of the indicators of a child being bullied are:

• No longer wanting to spend time with friends
• Disrupted sleep patterns
• Changes in diet, not wanting to eat
• Not wanting to go to school or take part in school activities
• Anxiety
• Sadness, crying a lot more than usual
• Drop in self esteem
• Reduced immune system, susceptible to more illnesses than normal
• Other illnesses that can’t be accounted for such as stomach aches, headaches, body soreness, feeling sick
•Notable decline in school work

Whilst not all of these indicators will mean your child is being bullied, they are an indicator that something is going on with your child and that it’s time to investigate a little deeper. It is important at this point that you tread carefully as a child who is being bullied will most likely be fearful of the repercussions of admitting they are being bullied and being aggressive (even though as a parent that is your instant reaction about bullying) in trying to find out what is going on will only cause your child to shut down and not open up about what is happening for them.

If you feel that things are escalating and you are unable to make headway with your child then it is vital that you seek the support of a professional, whether that is your GP, a Counsellor (privately or at the school) or by visiting the Bullying No Way website for valuable resources. We also have a list of book recommendations for books you can use when discussing bullying with your child.

The most important thing is to take action – inaction and hoping it will get better can lead to disastrous outcomes that we all want to avoid for our children.

If your child is being bullied and you would like to work through this with a professional counsellor then we encourage you to make an appointment with Donna to ensure both you and your child are supported through this difficult time. For more information check out the bulling facts.

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