You can watch for warning signs of bullying in your children, your children’s friends, and if you work at a school or any institution where there are lots of children and teens, you can look for those warning signs in the youth.. These warning signs will be listed below.


The ONE most important thing you can do is to say to your child, “I want to ask you a personal question and I need for you to answer me honestly. I PROMISE that I will not tell anybody else without your permission.


If you are a teacher, a Sunday school teacher, friend of the family or any other interested adult, say the same thing to any child you care about.


The question is: “Has any person younger or older than you bullied you, said something to you that has hurt your feelings, pushed or hit you, threatened you in any way? If you are being bullied or have been bullied, please tell me. You probably do not know what bullying can do to your mind later but I know and I do not want you to be harmed in any way by another person or persons.


If the child tells you that he/she has been bullied, the best thing you can do is find a way to get him/her to counseling with one who specializes in bullying. It may be that you will have to talk to a parent. If you do you must swear that parent to secrecy so he or she does not “blow the whistle” on whoever is involved. If you tell a parent and he/she complains to the school, the child will never trust you again and may not get the help that is vitally needed. If you are the parent and you go to the school or the parents of the bully to complain, your child may never trust you again and end up not getting the counseling he/she needs. Nobody but the counselor needs to know because he/she is the only person who can really help the child.


Below are common warning signs of being bullied:


  1. Unexplained injuries
  2. Changes in appetite
  3. Frequent sick days
  4. Missing personal items
  5. Falling grades
  6. Tendency to self-harm
  7. Isolation
  8. Avoidance of places, classes, missing the bus, walking different route home
  9. Loss of sleep
  10. Exclusion from social activities
  11. Frequent stomach or head aches
  12. Frequent nightmares
  13. Sudden loss of friends
  14. Feelings of hopelessness
  15. Talking about suicide
  16. Running away from home
  17. Afraid of riding the school bus
  18. Doesn’t want to go to school
  19. Marked change in behavior or personality
  20. Begins bullying siblings or younger kids
  21. Wants to get home to use the bathroom
  22. Has accidents of urinating in clothes
  23. Ravenous for food when comes home cause bullies take his lunch or lunch money
  24. Starts feeling “not good enough” blames self
  25. Starts saying negative things about self: “I’m stupid, I stink, I’m an idiot, Nobody likes me, maybe I should just disappear
  26. Missing items of clothing that were put on in the morning
  27. Pain in sitting down or walking
  28. Blood in underwear
  29. Hitting or kicking
  30. Raising his/her voice at another
  31. Appears anxious or worried
  32. Asking for or stealing extra money (to pay bullies)
  33. Others


Lane A Stokes, LPC, SMHC, M.Div, MS, CPE

Marriage Counselor and Mental Health Specialist

Counseling Services Atlanta Group LLC