Spotting the signs of bullying and strategies to deal with it

Discovering that your child is being bullied is a major worry and it’s understandably distressing to find out that there’s a problem. In this article Dr Fadwa gives tips on how to spot signs of bullying and strategies to deal with it.

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Signs of bullying

• Are there changes in eating habits? Not just losing weight or eating less, but also eating more than usual.

• Complaining of physical pain e.g. headaches, stomach aches, or tiredness.

• Showing reluctance to go to school.

• Does he/she show any signs of physical abuse e.g. bruises?

• Changes in sleeping patterns, e.g. over sleeping or disrupted sleep/insomnia.


• Stay calm and listen without showing judgment, or getting angry/upset.

• Reassure them by explaining that bullying is about the bully having a problem not themselves.

• Go through the steps he/she can take on their own before, mum or dad step in.


• Don’t hijack your child’s problem, as you will foster dependence.

• Don’t compare your child to yourself when you were his/her age.