My 11-year old son was being teased at school because his stepmother is Jewish. The kid doing it is basically ignorant, copying something he heard somewhere else. We're going to have a talk with the kid's parents (who will be aghast), but I don't have any good recommendations on how he should respond to the kid should it happen again. In general, what's the best way for a kid to respond to teasing/racism/etc.? Tell the perp "That's ignorant"? No kid will care about that. "You could hurt somebody's feelings with talk like that"? That's practically begging for more abuse. Just ignore the insult? That sort of works and the bully might stop if he doesn't get a reaction, but I don't like not responding - it feels like semi-complicity.

Any good ideas?

asked 28 Sep '09, 05:26

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yonkiman
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edited 28 Sep '09, 13:56


How old is your son? In order to understand how to deal with it I would try to see how he is affected by it first. Does he have an opinion? I would first speak with him and try to understand what it is about the teasing that upsets or hurts him.

Having understood his point of view I think ( depending on his age of course ) if you are able to make him truly see and understand the reasons why teasing and bullying take place, and why some children tease and bully while others don't, then there is a good chance that he may be able to ignore the children teasing him.

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answered 28 Sep '09, 06:44

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Emi
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11 years old... He definitely thinks it's wrong, he doesn't understand why these kids are saying these mean things, but (like me at his age), he's at a loss at how to respond to them. Is ignoring the taunts the best course (I know it's a lot better than most)?

(29 Sep '09, 05:34) yonkiman

He sounds mature for his age... I still think that he should decide which course of action to take. This is something that you can help him work out? If he decides to confront them, then knowing you are behind him will give him courage. If he decides to ignore them, even better, but most important of all it should be his decision. Just underline the fact that you will support him with which ever course of action we chooses to take.

(29 Sep '09, 06:20) Emi

kurtseifried and Emi has already made some good points.

But for now, when you talk to your son, start by telling him you understand that it isn't funny for him, that you know it hurts and that you'll find a way to help him. If you can, find an example situation where you felt the same, and tell him that story. It hard for kids to understand that other people have the same issues and that they aren't alone.

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answered 28 Sep '09, 07:53

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TC
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Asked: 28 Sep '09, 05:26

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Last updated: 28 Sep '09, 13:56