Unless your child tells you about bullying — or has visible bruises or injuries — it can be difficult to figure out if they are, in fact, the victim of bullies.

Being alert and observant is critical since victims are often reluctant to report bullying to their parents or teachers for fear of embarrassment or humiliation.

Some reasons your child might be hiding their bullying problem:

  • They worry that their parents will be disappointed, upset, angry, reactive or urge them to fight back when they’re scared.
  • They may assume that adults will not believe them, accuse them of tattling or will tell them to deal with it themselves.
  • Some victims believe there is nothing adults can do to get the bully to stop and if the bully finds out that they told, the bullying will get worse.
  • Often the victims feel like it’s their fault — like if they looked or acted differently, it wouldn’t be happening.

Getting a handle on the situation is vital since children who are bullied are more likely to:

  • Do poorly in school
  • Have low self-esteem
  • Be depressed
  • Turn to violent behavior to protect themselves or get revenge on their bullies
  • Experience loneliness and isolation