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Pre-teens and name calling

post #1 of 3
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I'm watching an 8, 9, and 11 year old for their summer break and there's been a lot of name calling with them here. Stuff like "idiot," "jerk," etc.

How do you all deal with your older children when they call each other names?

When it happened on Friday, I put the kid in time out for the number of minutes equal to their age and having them write "I will not call people _____ " until the timer beeped. Any other suggestions?
post #2 of 3
That seems a little punitive for name calling. I don't think it will make much difference either.
That said, I can relate to being at a loss as to how to change this kind of behavior. I have resorted to my mother's tactics from time to time.

Are they name calling as a result of fights? How is name calling tolerated in their own home/s?
Are they watching TV? We definitely notice an increase in name calling when the kids watch TV. Crude language and taunting seem to be a major element in children's TV these days.

We finally settled on making restitution to the one called the nasty name...usually by doing something nice for them or telling them what they like about them. It doesn't get rid of the name calling entirely but it balances it with nicer things.
post #3 of 3
Usually I have handled name-calling or "shut-up" with a kind of light, "Oh, guess what? We don't talk like that here... just thought you should know." If it continues, it turns into a, "Hmmm... people who choose polite language get to be in the public areas of the house." Sometimes it's a surprised, "Oh my! I hope nobody called one of my children that... I'm not sure what I'd have to do if someone spoke to one of my children so disrespectfully... I sure hope it doesn't happen again." If they don't get the hint, then the, "You're welcome to come out of your room when you can be polite," gets trotted out.

Just stay calm and have fun with it, but don't allow the disrespect -- it's not a good habit to get into.
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