If we saw kids throwing rocks at each other or at windows, we would immediately react, because we can see the damage it causes.
Even if a rock doesn’t land, we understand that getting hit by a rock can be dangerous and might break something important.
Emotional rocks like teasing can shatter the windows of a vulnerable child’s soul.
Tell kids when their words or actions can be hurtful. Coach them to practice saying something respectful and doing something safer instead.
Stop jokes like, ‘You’re so gay… That’s retarded… You’re fat.”
Even if everyone in the room says it’s okay, explain that putdowns like these are hurtful.
Disrespectful language, even if there is no bad intention, has no place in a healthy, caring environment.
Teach kids that “making fun” of anyone in hurtful ways is cruel. Remember that disrespectful or threatening gestures, sounds, and facial expressions are also ways to throw emotional stones.
Speaking Up About Putdowns describes how to address common negative reactions when someone is told that his or her language is hurtful.
Please share this Bullying Emergency Action with others.