A child’s mental health may falter in the face of bullying A child’s mental health may falter in the face of bullying

Aggressive attitudes or social repression may be some of the consequences of bullying at an early age. Here’s how to identify it.

In 2018, the Journal of Child and Family Studies published a study which showed that children and young people who are victims of bullying at school or in one of their common environments, gradually become more prone to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, being alone and avoiding school, compared to those who are not under this pressure.

In addition, according to StopBullying.gov, these types of behaviors can eventually trigger more serious ones such as problems at school, substance use or abuse, and aggressive behaviors. Hence the importance for parents to identify the problem and pay attention to it, since, according to the organization’s statistics, only 20% of bullying cases are reported.

This type of situation also transcends the physical and is presented in the same way in the virtual world, where children are exposed to so-called cyberbullying and also avoid reporting it for various reasons, such as fear of being seen as week or gossiping, or receiving some kind of retaliation from their abuser. They might also fear being judged by adults, being rejected by their friends, or simply thinking that no one cares or understands them.

In view of this, the website InternetMatters.org shares some clues formulated by specialists to determine if a child’s mental health is affected by any type of bullying situation:

  • Being annoyed or withdrawn, especially after looking at their phone, computer, or device.
  • Being afraid to go to school or missing school
  • Suddenly stopping using their phone or computer
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Difficulty falling asleep or frequent nightmares
  • Sudden loss of friends or the desire to avoid social situations

Continue reading: Preventing violence at school starts at home