Warning Signs

Children and youth who are being victimized by a bully, or who have become a bully themselves, will often display changes in their behaviour. It’s important that you as a parent know the warning signs, and pay attention to any signs that your child may be exhibiting. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are involved in bullying, but it may indicate the need to start a conversation and check in with your child.

Signs that your child is being bullied

Children and youth who are being bullied by others will often display a change in behaviour or emotions, like:

  • Not wanting to go to school or participate in extra-curricular activities
  • Anxious, fearful or over-reactive
  • Shows low self-esteem and makes negative comments about him/herself or a former friend
  • Regular complaints of stomach aches, headaches, and other physical symptoms without any particular cause
  • Lower interest and performance in school (i.e. drop in grades, development of learning issues)
  • Injuries, bruising, damaged clothing or broken items
  • Unhappy and irritable
  • Trouble sleeping, nightmares, bedwetting
  • Frequent crying
  • Threatens to hurt him/herself or others
  • Significant changes in social life (i.e. no one is calling or inviting him/her out)

Signs that your child is a bully

Children and youth who bully may show signs that they are using power aggressively, such as:

  • Little concern for the feelings of others
  • Aggressive with siblings, parents, teachers, friends and animals
  • Bossy and manipulative to get his/her own way
  • Coming home with unexplained objects or extra money
  • Secretive about possessions, activities or where they have been
  • Easily frustrated and quickly angered
  • Believe aggression is an acceptable way to resolve conflicts
  • Abuse others physically or verbally
  • Get into fights and blame others for starting them
  • Have a need to dominate others
  • Have two or three friends who are also aggressive
  • Hang out with increasingly younger children
  • Quick to interpret accidents or neutral events as deliberate hostile acts

There are many more warning signs to watch for. It’s important to know your child and look for changes in behaviour, emotions or attitude that could be signalling an issue – or a brewing problem.

Signs adapted from www.scholastic.com

If you are having thoughts of suicide or of hurting yourself or others, please reach out immediately for help. Call 9-1-1 (or your local police or authority, if you do not have 9-1-1) or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.

If you are being bullied, feeling alone or just need to talk to someone who will listen, please reach out to a trained volunteer or professional:



Resources for Parents

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Resources for Youth

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Thank you for stopping by to check out the ERASE Bullying online reporting tool. This tool is accessible through computers and smart phones, and will allow students, parents or other witnesses to report bullying or other threatening behaviour, anytime and anywhere.

The online reporting tool has just been developed and is in the final stages of testing.

If you need help, please reach out to someone you trust, like a parent, friend or teacher. Or, you can reach out to someone who doesn’t know you for support. There is a list of youth-oriented support lines and websites on this site just for you.

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