Annie Fox says

Annie Fox says:
March 6, 2010 at 6:27 am
Hi Sprite,

You’ve asked a really important question. “Why are kids mean to each other?” Wow! I could write a book just on that one! Actually, in a way, I already have. If you haven’t yet read “Real Friends vs. The Other Kind” you should. In it you will definitely find some answers to the most common friendship issues.

But you don’t have to read the book to realize that people (that includes adults, kids, tweens and teens) are incredibly complex! Sometimes we want to do the right thing and we do it. The “right” thing can include: being respectful to other people, being kind, being true to yourself, etc. And sometimes we’re not sure what the right thing is. Why? Because at that moment you might feel very scared or very angry or very embarrassed. Those intense emotions can make it really hard to think straight. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m not thinking straight, I am much more likely to do or say something I later regret… something that’s rude and hurts someone’s feelings.

Back to your question: some kids are mean to other kids because the adults in their lives haven’t been very nice to them. So those kids feel bad about themselves. When a person feels that way a lot of the time he or she lashes out at others. It’s not fair, and it doesn’t make it OK. No way! But it may help you understand where the “mean kid” is coming from.

In those situations the best thing you can do is first to take some slow deep breaths to calm yourself down. Then calmly and maturely let people know (by your words and your behavior) that you don’t appreciate what they did. Do your best to put yourself back in control of your own behavior. Know that you deserve respect and show, by the choices you make at school and at home, that you always respect yourself.

Oh, one more thing that can help in these annoying situations, is to remind yourself that you won’t be going to this school with these kids forever. Thank goodness! As you get older and move up in the grades the other kids get more mature and less interested in putting down other people.

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