Bullying - Characteristics of Children Who Are Bullied

Children who are bullied tend to be:3, 5

  • Sensitive.
  • Socially withdrawn. They may think poorly of themselves, or they may have a quiet temperament.
  • Anxious.
  • Passive. They often let other people be in control and do not stand up for themselves.
  • More likely to get depressed.

Children who are bullied are not to blame for attacks against them. Make sure your child understands this.

Boys are more likely than girls to be bullied in both physical and psychological ways.6

In some cases, a child who is bullied sometimes ends up bullying others. These children often respond to being bullied by feeling anxious and aggressive. Without knowing how to handle these feelings, they target other children who they think will not fight back.

In extreme situations, children who are bullied may attempt suicide or lash out violently against those who bullied them. Watch for warning signs of suicide in your child, such as withdrawing from family and friends.

Children who are embarrassed about being bullied may not want to tell their parents or other adults about it. Look for signs of bullying, such as poor sleep, unexplained bruises, frequent crying, and making up excuses not to go to school. Elementary school children who are bullied often say they have a sore throat or a cold, feel sick in the stomach, and/or don't feel like eating.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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