"It is just a test."
"They're just words."
"Ignore it and they'll stop and go away."
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me."
Whoever coined that last phrase has possibly never experienced the effects of verbal bullying.
Words hurt. Really hurt.
Words effect long term memories.
Words eat away at your self esteem and your confidence long after the bully has gone.
And when people respond with "but I didn't intend to insult you," well that just doesn't cut it in my opinion. Just because you didn't intend the words to be hurtful, doesn't mean that the other person shouldn't have taken offence to them.
It is all about perspective and how others interpret your words. People need to become more accountable for their actions, or in this case, their words.
I do want my little superheroes to become resilient but I do not want them to go through life believing that it is okay for others to belittle them with words.
"It is just a test" really isn't a useful or calming phrase to say to a child who suffers from severe anxiety. Yes it is just a test, but try explaining that to a child who is highly anxious and worries about what everyone will think if she doesn't perform to the standard that SHE thinks people are expecting of her.
We put so much pressure on our children when we should in fact be supporting them. We keep reminding O and L that as long as they try their hardest, that is all that matters.
The next time that you hear yourself saying "they're just words," take a moment and consider how your little superhero is feeling. How can we support our little superheroes instead of telling them to shrug it off.