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Would you know if your child was being bullied?

November 14 marked the start of Bullying Awareness Week and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) wants all parents to be aware of the signs that may indicate that your child is being bullied.

Unfortunately, bullying is common among young people. However, this does not lessen the negative effect on your child. Victims of bullying can often experience low self esteem, fear and anxiety which in turn may lead to poor life choices.

Sgt. Joe Taplin, RCMP Community and Aboriginal Diversity Policing Section says that “at times, victims of bullying feel helpless and need help in figuring out how to deal with it. As parents, you have to be aware of the signs of bullying and ensure you child knows they can come to you for help.”

Some warning signs that can indicate that a child is being bullied include:

– Not wanting to go to school or participate in extra-curricular activities.
– Anxious, fearful and over-reactive behavior.
– Low self-esteem and makes negative comments about him/herself.
– Headaches and stomach aches.
– Lower interest and performance in school.
– Loses things, needs money, reports being hungry after school.
– Injuries, bruising, damaged clothing, broken things.
– Unhappy, irritable, little interest in activities.
– Trouble sleeping, nightmares, bed-wetting.
– Expresses threats to hurt himself/herself or others.

Please visit www.deal.org/parents/bullying/ for more parenting tips on how to recognize and deal with bullying.

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