Parent Conversation Guides
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.