In the past few weeks, many have reacted to the sad demise of Sylvester Oromoni, a student at Dowen College, Lekki. His death has also opened up other cases that were either buried or neglected. Many topics have been raised as to how these incidents may have occurred and how they may have been averted. There are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying. It is important to know that not all children who are bullied ask for help.
In order to be safe as a parent, it is important to talk with children who show signs of being bullied. These signs can also point to other issues such as substance abuse or depression. Remember that talking to the child can help identify the root of the problem. Below are ways to know if your child is being bullied in school.
LOW SELF ESTEEM
This is the first sign a child portrays when he/she is a constant victim. It is the first thing a bully tries to break in order to become supreme to their victim. Low self-esteem is the first red flag parents should identify in their children especially when the child is known to be more vibrant and outspoken. Once the victim’s self-esteem is broken, they become easier prey for further bullying.
When a child comes face-to-face with bullying, it comes with injuries. Some of these bullies tend to inflict injuries in places that may not be easily identified just like in Sylvester Oromoni’s case. As parents, it is advisable to ask your wards questions when they come home with injuries. If their explanation is not convincing enough, it is time to visit their schools.
CONSTANT REQUEST FOR FOOD AND MONEY
In the case when a child is in a boarding school, bullies tend to forcefully take their victim’s possessions. Therefore when your ward requests food items and money constantly, it may not be that the child is wasteful. It is important to ask such children how things go in school and how you can help them.
BEGGING TO CHANGE SCHOOLS
This is another sign that your child is being bullied in school. When a child has to change school due to certain reasons, they rather become sad or unwilling due to how comfortable they are around their classmates.
When your child suggests changing his/her school, be sure something terrible is up.
CRYING DURING VISITING HOURS
Another sign shown by a bully victim is crying during visiting hours. As parents, visiting hours is a very important segment in a boarder’s life. Don’t miss it!! This is the period where a child can open up if he/she is uncomfortable with their school. It is also a period where parents meet their wards, friends or classmates. Therefore, during visiting hours ensure your child is happy with his/her school life.
THE CHILD GETS FRIGHTENED BY SUDDEN SOUNDS
One of the signs stated by late Sylvester Oromoni’s mother was his fright at sudden sounds. It was a sign that she got worried about but it was his first sign. Don’t let is slide as a minor issue, it is something to talk through with your child.
In order to skip school, children sometimes fake illness once in a while. When it is becoming a norm, it is a sign that your child is a bully victim. Of course, they feel the house is safer so they do anything to stay at home.
Another sign a bully victim portrays is an imbalance in their eating habits. They are likely to start skipping meals or rushing while eating. This is a sign that someone takes their food from them in school which makes them come home hungry.
This includes running away from homes, harming themselves deliberately or talking about suicide. On the list, this sign usually crops up when the bullying has gone so bad. Children who exhibit these attributes should be given proper attention immediately.
LOST/DESTROYED CLOTHING AND PROPERTIES
When your child comes home without certain important properties, it may be a pointer to being a bully victim. With all of these signs listed, parents can help a child who might be a bully victim.