Whatever the reason, name-calling is wrong. And it’s wrong for parents to think bullying and name-calling are just part of growing up. Today these actions have been linked to much harsher schoolyard cruelties.
To keep kids safe at home and at school, we must try to limit their aggressive behavior. We must foster civility and doing the right thing. Be sure to:
Be a good role model. Don’t call people names. Say you disapprove when you hear someone putting down another person.
Don’t accept a child saying “I was just joking.” It’s never a joke when someone is made to feel rejected or ridiculed.
Voice your anger and disappointment if your child has taunted someone. Have her apologize to her victim and perhaps others.
Express your concern if your child has been taunted. Help her reflect on why kids do this. And talk about ways of coping.
Teach that name-calling hurts everyone. Doing it—or tolerating it—undercuts our integrity and humanity.
Foster empathy. Always encourage your child to think how it might feel to be in another’s shoes.
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