Parent Conversation Guides

What Does Mean Mean?

What Does Mean Mean?

These conversation ideas can help your child recognize that people sometimes use language to hurt or intimidate. The language of bullies.

  • We all are the boss of what we say. Words don’t just come out.
  • We use words to express ourselves and to relate to those around us. We all want (need) to be liked – to have friends. It’s what makes us human.
  • Sometimes people feel they can make people like them more – by making them NOT like someone else. They do this by trying to embarrass or humiliate or scare. They ‘make fun’ of others.
  • They act like bullies. And it isn’t okay. It isn’t funny.
  • But when we are with someone bullying – or when we are being bullied – it can be really hard right then to come up with something to say that might help.
  • When I was in school (tell a story about bullying). Tell them how you felt. Tell them how long those words hurt you.
  • Have you seen anyone bullying? Tell me about it.
  • Have you ever been bullied? Tell me about it.
  • Let’s think of some answers we can have all ready to go if it happens again. Remember it is important not to escalate – make things even more angry – but instead to just end the bullying.
    • Say nothing. Turn and walk away. Maybe even smile before you turn away – communicating that their words didn’t bother you.
    • Why are you being so hateful right now?
    • Stand next to the person being bullied – “C’mon. Let’s go.”
    • Keep coming up with your own ideas.