A ten year old boy in Louisville, USA committed suicide early Saturday morning due to constant bullying at school.
Seven Ridges is said to have committed suicide while his parents were away. The young boy was born with a medical condition that required him to use a colostomy bag and after its removal, he experienced constant leaking. The condition, therefore, made him a target for bullying. He also experienced racist bullying as he reported an incident where he was called the n-word.
According to his parents, Seven who was their miracle baby and the only one conceived after his mother had been told she could not give birth.
Ridges is just one among many children whose lives have been turned into a nightmare through constant bullying. So many children are often forced to endure bullying in silence in fear of being named a snitch and worsening the situation. Although his parents knew of the bullying they might not have known how bad it was and that their son needed urgent help. This leaves parents with so many questions pertaining to the safety of their kids in school.
So what are the tell-tale signs that your kid is being bullied and how do you prevent it from escalating into depression, low self-esteem or even suicide?
Signs of Bullying
1.Reluctance to go to school or engage with friends;
Sometimes preparing your kid for school can be a difficult task when they do not want to go. This, however, should be a cause of concern if it happens frequently. It could be a sign that everything is not right at school. Your child might also refuse to go out and play with his friends.
Take time and talk to your child about his unwillingness to go to school or to play with his friends. Frame your talk as a conversation and not as an interrogation. Ask questions like, Are your friends nice to you? Are you happy at school? As a parent, take time to know your child’s friends and their parents. In this way, you will establish what kind of personalities they are and even notice any kind of bullying projected to your child. The friends will also be more willing to tell you if your kid is being bullied by others.
Constant bullying will definitely take a toll on your child’s academics resulting in poor grades. Ask your child why they think they are not doing so well and if they cannot explain, see their teacher. The teacher might have discovered a lack of concentration and fear of participation in class. The child might be afraid to participate or ask questions in class because they fear the bullies will pick on them or laugh at them.
3. A constant headache and stomachache
Bullying may result in anxiety and stress that will manifest infrequent bouts of a headache or stomachache. At times the illness might be faked to avoid going to school or any social gathering. Take your child for a checkup in order to establish the cause for the ailments and talk to them about their safety at school.
Take time to inspect your child’s body by bathing and dressing them as often as you can. If you notice any bruises or cuts ask them about it but do not be quick to believe if they tell you they hurt themselves. Children will always try to hide the bruises so as to prevent you from finding out they are being bullied. If they are reluctant or unable to explain how they got the bruises or the cuts try and find out more from their friends or teachers.
5. Loss of their belongings
Do not be quick to label your child careless if they keep losing their belongings at school or whenever they go to play. Bullies might go to the extent of taking stuff from their victims and threatening them against reporting. If your child is unable to explain how they lost their stuff or act scared when asked, it might be the time to address the topic of bullying and assure them your protection.
6. Bullying younger siblings
Sometimes victims of bullying will also start bullying their younger siblings. Rather than punishing your child for bullying others, talk to them. Let them know bullying is a bad thing and ask them how they would feel if it was done to them. This might make them admit that they are being bullied too.
7. Sad and moody
A child that is being bullied tends to become moody, withdrawn and sad. They will also stay away from family and opt to be alone. They become emotional and cry often. They will even throw tantrums and act out for petty reasons. If you find out that they are sad because of bullying, tell them that it is not their fault and take quick action to stop the bullying.