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Controlling the Power of Words: Teaching Students How to Confront Insults

Bullies use insults and hateful language to have power over their victims, but we can remedy this by teaching students to reduce the emotional connection to these words. First, they can substitute a new mental image, by replacing words and people with silly images that elicit laughter. With older students, the approach may be to understand why the child uses these words and wants to get this reaction out of them. Finally, educators can explain bullies only have as much power as we give to them – students can control their reactions and effectively deal with the situation.