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Signs that a child could be being bullied

Bullying is an issue that can affect all children in schools across the South and South East, but it may surprise you to know that, according to the Anti-Bullying Alliance, children in care are four times more likely to be bullied in secondary school. That’s why, as part of Anti-Bullying Week (11-15 November) at Five Rivers Child Care, we want to help parents and carers recognise some of the warning signs that suggest a child could be being bullied.
It’s normal for children to complain about going back to school after the holidays, but it’s unusual for a child that enjoys school to suddenly become less willing to attend. If you’re finding that your child is becoming increasingly reluctant to go to school each morning, and there is no other explanation for this change, it’s possible they could be experiencing problems with bullying.
If your child’s belongings are damaged or start to go missing and they can’t explain why, this could be a sign that they’re being targeted by another child. In extreme circumstances, children can experience physical bullying and violence, so if you notice unexplained bruising, cuts and other marks, it could mean that a child is being bullied and is reluctant to tell anyone.

Being bullied can increase anxiety and distract a child, and this can be spotted in their schoolwork. If grades suddenly drop or schoolwork isn’t being completed, speak with them to find out why.
Cyber bullying is sometimes harder to spot but can be the most difficult form of bullying, with children feeling like there’s no escape from it. It’s important to talk to your child about how to be safe online, and how to get support if they start to experience difficulty or upset.
At Five Rivers, we feel it’s essential for families to have conversations with their children about bullying and ensure they’re happy at school, as well as at home. Hopefully this gives your readers some useful tips on how to spot signs of bullying and make sure their child feels safe whilst at school.
For more advice on physical and online bullying, visit the National Bullying Helpline and The Cyber Smile Foundation.

Jem Orman.
Fostering Service Manager for the South and South East, Five Rivers Child Care.

 

 

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