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.