Script: When people say mean things?
The purpose of this discussion is to help your child explore motivation for meanness – and be prepared to respond. They can have a script or two ready to go.
- Ask them if they have ever heard someone say something mean to someone else – or to them. Can they tell you about it? Share a story from your childhood.
- Together, think of possible reasons people act that way. Possibilities like …
- They were angry at that other person and wanted to hurt them
- They felt what they were saying was true
- They wanted people to stop liking that other person – and like them instead.
- Do you think people should say anything to try to help the situation? Or should they ignore it?
- What happens if you know what they said isn’t true and you say nothing?
- Why do you think people most often say nothing?
- For each possibility, see if you can come up with something to say that helps – and stops the meanness. But doesn’t make things worse. Think about what you would want to have happen if someone was being mean to you. Brainstorm a few ideas – maybe even get a little silly and then pick the best answers
- I’m not so sure that is true. Let’s just go.
- You can say something nice about/to that person, showing you like them.
- Later you can say to the person being mean, “Hey, what was up with that? Why would you say that in front of all of us?”
- You can find a new friend