Warning Signs

Warning Signs

Warning Signs for Children Who Are Bullied


  • Frequently complains of illness (e.g., headaches, stomach aches, etc.)
  • Has anxiety when encountering peers 
  • Sudden change or loss of appetite
  • Has scars, scratches, or bruises with no logical explanation
  • Frequently has damaged or missing belongings


  • Skips class or skips school altogether
  • Has changes in school work (e.g., poor grades, incomplete assignments, etc.)
  • Has difficulty concentrating and remaining on task
  • Does not enjoy going to lunch and/or recess
  • Lack of interest in school-related and extracurricular activities


  • Has very few or no friends
  • Likes to be around adults rather than other children
  • Has difficulty standing up for him/herself
  • Often complains of other children teasing, picking on, or laughing at him/her
  • May frequently irritate others (even adults)


  • Is unhappy, depressed, and/or moody
  • Shy, quiet, passive, withdrawn, and/or timid,
  • Has poor self esteem
  • Often anxious, nervous, cautious, worried, and/or fearful
  • Has thoughts of suicide and possibly even homicide


Warning Signs for Children Who Bully Others

  • Enjoys feelings of power and control
  • Constantly seeks the attention of others (even negative attention)
  • Likes to dominate others
  • Gains satisfaction from hurting others
  • Has a bad temper; gets angry easily; impulsive
  • Has little or no compassion for others when they are hurt; lacks empathy
  • May have difficulty making and keeping friends
  • Frequently disregards rules and gets in trouble
  • Good at talking him/herself out of trouble, manipulative
  • Disrespectful, hostile, or aggressive towards adults
  • May be popular with other children
  • Has average or above average self-esteem; overly confident
  • Has poor supervision and parental involvement at home
  • Has harsh physical discipline at home
  • Has trouble taking responsibility for his or her own actions; often blames others
  • Hangs around peers with accepting attitudes towards violence
  • Has little emotional support at home