Friday, March 12, 2010

Bullying & the Power of Words

"Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

We all know how it goes. We were taught this by our parents, grandparents, educators, etc. But the truth is... this is a BIG LIE!

When I look back on my life, many of the most painful moments did not deal with physical pain. Instead, the pain was associated with someone's words. Now that I have a son in school, I'm noticing how adults falsely minimize the power of words. For example, if it's a physical altercation between youngsters, it's ok to tell. But if someone if name-calling, it's often called "tattling."

Now don't get me wrong. I understand that we need to teach young people to ignore and devalue mean comments, but we also need to simultaneously recognize the power of words. There was such a sad story in recent DFW news about an elementary school child who committed suicide because of hurtful words. Words can cause a pain that is far worse than sticks and stones, so words should be monitored and corrected.

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