How to spot the signs of bullying

Signs to watch for if you think your child may be being bullied

You may be unsure if your child is involved in a bullying incident. He or she could be acting as a bully, being bullied or upset because they have seen others behaving badly. If you suspect that your child is involved in bullying then look out for these signs:

  • bruises
  • broken or missing possessions
  • becoming withdrawn – not talking, or spending more time alone
  • changes in eating habits
  • changes in behaviour – becoming aggressive at home 
  • sleeping badly
  • complaining of headaches or stomach aches
  • wetting the bed
  • worrying about going to school
  • suddenly doing less well at school

But there could be other reasons for these signs, so try to avoid jumping to conclusions. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there anything else bothering my child?
  • Have there been changes at home like a new baby, or divorce or separation?

If there has not been any other changes and you suspect bullying may be the cause of the distress and anxiety, it is important to try and act as early as you can.  Please read our article on how to talk to your child about bullying for advice on doing this. 


“He’d be upset in the morning saying he didn’t want to go. He’d think of anything to try and get out of going to school he was so unhappy.”

“He was coming home with his clothing torn, his hood missing, sometimes with bruises on him. He was often upset and started having nightmares.” 

Watch our video on spotting the signs of bullying


Donate now

For support call our confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222 or email us at Your opinion matters, please share your views on our website by filling in our survey.