1 in 4 kids in the US will be bullied this year. A child’s instinct may be to hide the fact that they are being bullied from you. There are many signs parents can watch for, and talking to your child about bullying, and other concerning issues, is crucial to keep the lines of communication open between parents and children.

Any of the following signs may be considered red flags and can be indicators that your child or a loved one is being bullied.

1. Does your child repeatedly want to stay home or get picked up from school because he or she feels “sick”?

2. Have you noticed that your child has almost no friends or no friends at all?

3. Have you overheard your child talk about hurting themselves, overdosing on drugs, or wanting to run away from home?

4. Have your child’s grades suddenly been declining?

5. Does your child have a low self-esteem?

6. Does your child have unexplained bruises, scratches or cuts?

7. Have you noticed changes in your child’s sleeping, eating,social and emotional patterns?

8. Have any of your child’s belongings disappeared? (Items likebackpacks, books, clothing articles, jewelry, cell phone, etc.?)

Remember, while these behaviors aren’t always a result of bullying, they are indicators that your child may be the target of a bully. The best thing a parent or parents can do is always to stay involved in the child’s life. Maybe your child is not the victim.