To assist in deciding the most appropriate solutions I have developed the 3 levels of bullying. Keep in mind, I believe the bullying issue requires our attention regardless of what level.
However, most people have bullying beliefs that prevent us from taking action. Things like “boys fight to solve their problems” or "girls are so caddy". Perhaps you believe bullying is a normal part of growing up.
I am hoping when you consider these levels of bullying you will be able to make informed decisions about whether or not you should get involved and what you can do at each stage to help.
Remember, these are only guidelines. Your child may be targeted and quickly the bully jumps to level three. Your child may experience depression and anxiety at level one. Every child deals with challenges differently which means the effects of it will be different for every child. We as parents must be vigilant and watch for the warning signs.
TYPE OF BULLYING: Generally starts with Verbal taunting or anonymous cyberbullying.
FREQUENCY: Happens infrequently maybe once or twice a week
TIME FRAME: Up to 6-8 weeks
The Bully: wants something, does not know how to make friends, has a need (to feel important or prove themselves) has been bullied in his past. The Bully has shown warning signs.
The Bullied: Is confused, begins to question himself/herself, self doubt begins Why me? They will begin to show warning signs also.
The Audience: This means the kids and/or adults who are watching...Are deciding on accepting or ignoring or possibly joining in or helping.
ISSUE: The child is identified by the bully as being an easy target. Generally it is because the child is “too something” Too fat, too thin…too geeky, too stupid, too gay, too religious, too new, too white, too brown. There are many excuses a bully uses to target a child.
TYPE OF BULLYING: Generally a combination of 2 types or more. Perhaps verbal bullying has escalated and the bully is now physically pushing your child etc. OR the anonymous cyber bullying has increased and bullies are isolating your daughter on the playground.
FREQUENCY: Happens multiple times a week
TIME FRAME: 2 to 4 months
The Bully: Did not face consequences and the bullying goes unchecked. The bully now knows by targeting your child he can get his needs met which increases his enjoyment of the bullying. The bully starts to see your child as less human, not deserving empathy or respect.
The Bullied: Begins to show warning signs, actively attempts to dodge/avoid the bully.
The Audience: Has made a choice to ignore or join in the bullying
ISSUE: The difference identified in level one has become a reason for your child to be singled out. The Bullying was not identified and the both the Bully and the Target did not get help.
OF BULLYNG: Multiple
types of bullying.
FREQUENCY: Bullying is now occurring daily or multiple times a day
TIME FRAME: Happening for more than 4 months IMPACT:
Bully: lost all empathy, enjoys hurting others, feels all powerful, holds complete contempt for victim, bullying has become criminal involving assault etc
Bullied: Has moved from being a target to being a victim. Child is at risk of suffering from long and short term effects from anxiety and depression to bullycide
Audience: Is now stressed by events…uncertain of choices to join or ignore and not sure what to do about it.