The excerpts from the books that follow are ones that have struck me as valuable over time. Having been privileged to meet many authors, psychologists, and parenting specialists in my career, their words have had a major impact on my own advice to parents.
“Teasing and name-calling are universal. There is no reader of this book who was not called a name in his or her school career, or who has not called someone else a name.” from Best Friends, Worst Enemies, by Michael Thompson (2001)
My experience as an educator, as well as a parent, is that we do not appreciate the implications of Dr. Thompson’s statement – and that teachers and parents have gone overboard in protecting our children from normal day-to-day teasing. Note: “normal” day-to-day teasing, not cruel bullying. We do have to know when our child needs our help in shoring up his coping skills, or teaching her how to deal appropriately with the truly cruel children and teens who do come along. Ongoing adult intervention strips a child of the ability to learn to navigate the day socially, despite the unfairness and roughness that occurs. Over-protection renders a child fragile. The right kind of support leads to strength.