Later, it’s easy to look back and think, “My child was being hazed.” Hazing symptoms bear an uncanny resemblance to other emotional upheavals, including those associated with starting college and adjusting to a new living situation. But these red flags may indicate that your child has gotten involved with a group – a fraternity, sports team, marching band or other organization – that uses hazing in its initiation rites. If you are seeing several of these symptoms,
says Susan Lipkins, author of Preventing Hazing
, and getting a nagging feeling in your gut, it's time to have a serious talk with your child.
- Your child's pattern of communication with you changes in frequency, length and general tone.
- He suddenly reduces contact with you, with siblings and old friends.
- He seems to be adjusting almost too quickly to college and acquiring instant friends.
- He develops new psychological symptoms – changes appear in his sleeping and eating patterns. He’s anxious or quick to anger. And his academic performance drops.
- He begins complaining about new types of physical ailments – exhaustion, broken bones, sprains, cuts, burns, or stomach or headaches. And his accounts of how the injuries happened don’t quite jibe.