What can you do to psychologically respond to the growing problem of web meanness? Part of the help is preventing a bully from ever developing.
One response it to not take it personally. This is incredibly hard to do unless you have help from your parents. The power of words are just that–powerful! And while you have to teach your kids not to take it personally and focus on the lack of empathy and kindness of the perpetrator, words hurt.
So parents, talk about what was said and let your kids know that out of the heart, the mouth speaks. Perhaps this is where we help our kids apply the words of Jesus to bless those who curse us. Help your child understand that the person who creates such meanness and hides behind the web to not face his targets has heart problems that parents need to address. All we can do is control our response to the meanness of others, but we can put it in perspective–it’s a lack of parenting! The first time my child ever tried to disparage another child, I was on him. The lesson–put yourself in his place. How would it feel? Would you like this?
Empathy can be taught. Here is what you do.
For more from Dr. Mintle, visit her blog at Doing Life Together.