There are three levels of bullying and all of them can be hard for the parent and for the child. You want to take stock of this situation and assess what’s been going on with the bullying and your child. And the level of action you take will be determined by how serious the bullying situation is.
Level 1 Bullying is Teasing
I’ll start with teasing, every child’s going to get teased at some point in time. Usually how your child responds determines whether the bullying continues, or if it stops. Kids tease when teachers aren’t around, they’re clever, that can be manipulative, and just telling the teacher probably won’t get the bullying to stop.
You’re going to need to give your child some skills to shut down teasing. Teasing can be bullying when it starts to happen repeatedly. And several kids are ganging up on your child or one person is encouraging other people to tease or badmouth your child.
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Level 2 Bullying is when kids are ganging up on your child
Level two bullying is when several kids are ganging up on your child at school. It’s happening repeatedly every day. Something is happening to your child. And statistics state that one out of five children at school will experience bullying,
You’re going to want to reach out to the school to get it to stop. Reach out to the teacher first, unless in more serious situations you could go to the principal. And at this point, you’re really going to want to give your child some skills to deal with some of these kids who are picking on them. determine the best way to help your child and assess if your child has any blind spots that are making them an easy target for bullies.
Often parents feel blindsided because their child may have been ousted by a friend group all of a sudden, and everybody’s ganging up on their child. Even their former so-called good friends.
And I have moms reach out to me. And they’re just completely blindsided and gutted that this is happening to their kids. And they can’t believe the level of unkindness from some of their child’s former friends and they see the messages and the bullying and they see a different side of these kids that they may have known for a very long time.
So it’s a shock that this is happening to your child. And it’s a shock that it’s happening by former good friends. And that’s quite common in elementary school, but there are things you can definitely do to help your child.
Level 3 Bullying is when there is an exclusion campaign against your child
And then level three I would say are severe bullying situations where your child may be facing an exclusion by a large group of kids at the school, there may be a ringleader, who’s instigating this, they may have wing men who are trying to make your child’s life a living hell at school. When your child tries to make new friends, they try to turn those friends against your kid.
Now give you an example. This is a high school example. But it can happen in elementary school as well.
Maria was a beautiful girl and there was another girl at the school who was very jealous of her and she would invite everyone in their friend group out and then she wouldn’t invite Maria. And she would badmouth Maria say that she wasn’t so bright. She would say horrible things about her, and put her down to this friend group which led to everyone leaving Maria out and turning against her, and her being excluded.And Maria, after all this, this girl having it up for her leading a hate campaign against her.
Your child may transfer schools because of the bullying
Maria’s parents were very concerned, their daughter was incredibly depressed, she was no longer the daughter they knew. They pulled her out of the school, she transferred schools and she is doing a lot better.
And because she didn’t have any traits that made her a target except being good looking and getting male attention. She hasn’t experienced problems at her new school. And the bully actually suffered some karma because some of the kids, after Maria pulled away, turned against the bully and kind of called her out on her bad behavior.
With level three bullying, you’re dealing with targeted behavior, they won’t stop after repeated warnings. And this is the time after a certain amount of time, you may consider leaving the school.
You may homeschool or you may look at attending another school in the area. Sometimes a vulnerable child will change schools and then it starts up again because they have body language or traits that make them a bully target.
So if you’re considering changing schools, I would really assess if your child has any traits that make them a bully magnet before you do.
So these situations are easier to control in elementary school. As kids get into high school parents have less control because kids have phones.
Kids get canceled. And there’ve been many many cases where a child has done something at high school it’s been filmed, taken out of context and shared with the whole school. And you know, a teenager is left with not one person speaking to them, and the whole school so this is devastating for a teenager this would be devastating for an adult so we’re dealing with a whole new world, and we have to help our children navigate this and parent accordingly and just offer the most support that we possibly can.
If you’re a parent who wants to help your child navigate a bullying situation, quickly shut down teasing, know how to handle the school and figure out any traits that may be causing your child to be a bully magnet. You can watch our free workshop to learn what to do if your child is being bullied.
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