How to tell if your child is being bullied

How to tell if your child is being bullied

Here are ten signs that your child could be a victim of abuse and how to help him/her. 

Stop bullying
Stop bullying/ iStock

Bullying is a major problem all over the world.

According to, 57% of South African learners have been bullied at some point during their high-school careers.

Earlier this week, a video went viral showing a girl assaulting Lufuno Mavhunga, a learner from Mbilwi Secondary School in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. Mavhunga allegedly committed suicide following the incident.

READ: Human Rights Commission to visit Limpopo school after bullied girl’s death

After the video emerged, #JusticeForLufuno trended on Twitter, with many people calling for the bullies to be held accountable.

The police in Thohoyandou, Venda, have since arrested the 15-year-old schoolgirl who allegedly assaulted Mavhunga.

There are different types of bullying - verbal, social, physical and cyber.

There are also several signs that can show you if your child is being bullied.

Your child could develop emotional and behavioral changes such as:

- Sudden drop in grades or loss of interest in going to school.

- Not wanting to use the same school transport he/ she has been using.

- Faking illness in the morning.

- Having nightmares, wetting the bed or changes in sleep patterns.

- The loss of appetite or changes in eating patterns, or even coming back home hungry.

- Anger, mood swings or refusing to talk about what is wrong.

- Targeting siblings.

- Coming home with missing or damaged belongings or clothes.

- Appearing insecure or frightened.

- There could also be physical signs that show that your child is being bullied. These can include unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches.

READ: Breakfast with Martin Bester discusses bullying facts, prevention, and effects

How to get help for your child

- It is important to talk to your child and to win his or her trust so that they can open up to you about what is really going on. Make your child understand that it is not their fault that they are being bullied and assure them of your love for them.

- Report the bullying at your child’s school. Many schools have anti-bullying policies and they will deal with the matter.

- Get professional help. Bullying can damage your child’s self-esteem and affect their emotional well-being. It is important that you get them to speak to a professional.

Image courtesy of iStock/ @CherriesJD

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