Indicators to Identify a Need for Intervention

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Watch for changes in eating and sleeping habits, frequent angry outburts, clinging, whining, or increased social isolation.

When is it children being children and when is it bullying? Parents wrestle with this question from coast to coast and country to country without a clear answer. The rule of thumb is that every relationship is unique and has to be examined on its own merits.

If you suspect rough play is turning into bullying behavior, make keener observations on your own. Ask the teacher for input. Ask other parents to tell you what they see and think. Add it all up in your mind and then you can decide whether or not action should be taken.

There are many factors that point to a need for intervention.

You should be aware of changes in eating and sleeping habits; and motivation towards daily activities. Additional things to look for include changes in mood, specifically more frequent angry outbursts or less ability to take pleasure from formerly pleasurable activities. Clinginess, whining, or refusal to separate from the parent are also immediate warning signs.

If there is increased social isolation at school or play it compels you to investigate further and act accordingly. Those are not just warning alarms for bullying but potentially other serious problems that require different responses.

Observe, investigate, act.

Assess your own school climate. Look at the following questions and decide how many of them describe your school.

  • Do adults initiate positive social conversations with students? Do they greet and praise them?
  • Do adults talk with students respectfully? Do they model respect and inclusion for all?
  • Do adults acknowledge improved behavior? Is that acknowledgment specific?
  • Do adults spend time with students in activities that both enjoy?
  • Do adults mentor at-risk students?
  • Do adults give and accept feedback about each others’ behavior with students?
  • Do staff members maintain a positive emotional tone with students?
  • Do staff members maintain a positive emotional tone with students?
  • Does the school protect time for adults to interact informally with students?

Pages about Bullying on This Site

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