There are good and bad ways to deal with your child’s problems, and as a parent it’s your job to know the difference between the two and to act accordingly. When it comes to verbal abuse, such as taunting, insults and hate speech, the problem can only be exacerbated if you choose an inappropriate response.
If your child is dealing with insults from his peers, try to avoid using any of the following 10 approaches:
- Physical response is generally not a wise course of action, for kids or adults. This is particularly true when used in response to words. Kids should be taught how to address such behavior without resorting to violence.
- Retaliatory insults can be fun if the general spirit of the insults is more playful and not personal or aggressive. The tit-for-tat approach is not, however, advisable when the insults are coming from someone who is attempting to hurt, discredit or embarrass a child. A like response merely adds fuel to the fire.
- Keeping it to herself and biting her lip isn’t healthy. If the situation is causing her genuine discomfort or hurt, she needs to know she can share that with you, or someone in authority who can address the issue at school.
- “Just tell me who it is, and I’ll kick their butt” isn’t an altogether brilliant solution coming from a parent either. Violence isn’t wrong for just kids; it’s not a wise choice for anyone.
- Suggesting that your child and the insulting party settle the score mano y mano under your supervision might get you famous on YouTube, but not for the right reasons. Be the adult and set a solid example.
- Gossip and backbiting may provide some measure of revenge, but it also places your child in the same negative light as the recipient, regardless of how deserving that person may seem.
- Advising your child to use her position to exact revenge is a poor choice too. For instance, as captain of the cheerleading squad, it would be inappropriate for her to exclude someone from the team based on a personal issue.
- Using pranks or sneaky behavior in retaliation isn’t mature either. There may very well be some imaginatively devious ways to make someone look bad for insulting your daughter, but the idea is to remain above that sort of behavior.
- Kids do tend to be cruel to each other, but sometimes it’s not in a threatening way. You don’t necessarily want your child to automatically snitch on someone who is merely acting immature. Only such behavior that can genuinely be considered threatening or abusive need be reported.
- Being overly protective can be a tempting solution for some parents, however, you can’t shelter your child from every unsavory aspect of growing up. Avoid the temptation to restrict her social activities just because one or two people are behaving badly.
This has been a guest blog submitted by Roxanne Porter on behalf of NannyJobs.org.
Image source: Yukon News