Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mean People Suck

The Kid and I have been having an ongoing conversation about mean kids at school, and why people are mean and what you can do about it.

The Kid just doesn't understand meanness. He believes that if he points out the mean to the perpetrator that they will stop and say, "Gee, I'm sorry. I will refrain from this sort of behavior from now on. Thanks, Kid." Sadly, this is not what happens on the playground.

My end of the conversation is beginning to sound something like this:

Some people are mean. They are mean and they don't care if they are mean. I suspect their parents don't care if they're mean. If you tell them they're being mean, they won't care. There's nothing you can do to make them stop being mean. The best thing you can do is avoid mean people. Don't play with them. If you say, "Stop being such a dick" you will probably get in trouble. Jerk is a better choice, similar impact, less fallout.

How do you talk to your kids about mean people?


  1. Oh yeah, we talked about this a lot. We always added that the person who was mean had the problem. We also did some role playing so that my kids felt stronger and more in control with ready, rehearsed answers.

  2. Mean people do suck. I love Mrs. G's idea for role playing. Sometimes I'm glad that my dogs don't have such problems.

  3. And, oh my god, what a beautiful kid!

  4. I haven't had to have the conversation so far--they seem to crack down hard and quick any meanness in kindergarten here. I haven't the foggiest idea how I'll deal with it, other than telling him to stay away from mean people. Poor Kid!

  5. Yeah...I always pointed out that people who think it necessary to cut down others do so because they need the world to feel as bad about itself as they already feel.

  6. Hey thanks for the suggestion,advice and compliments (he is cute, huh Prof. J).

    Stacy, your comment went a long towards helping me explain why people would choose to be mean.

    Truly, I have the most insightful readers on the internet.

  7. My E wants to be friends with everyone, all the time, regardless of how badly they've treated him in the past. It's hard to watch sometimes. We just tell him to avoid the mean people, but if he does play with them, not to be surprised if they're mean again.

  8. Yes, when you have great hair, everyone gets an attitude about you.

    I know.

    I've taught my kids to say, Perdon? Then the insult is repeated. Then say, I THOUGHT that was what you said. (smile and off you go.)

    My mom's solution for when someone asks you a rude question is to answer, in a whisper, If anyone asks you... tell them you don't know.