Monday, November 14, 2016

Ouch Words Hurt

Picture Book: Ouch! Moments: When Words are 
                                          Used in Hurtful Ways
Author: Michael Genhart
Illustrator: Viviana Garofoli 
Summary: This book is all about how words can hurt, particularly in a classroom. Such words bring about ouch moments just like a bee sting does. 
Words might come in a whisper or when someone is trying to be funny, but they still hurt. 
Ouch moments can come quickly so that it’s hard for kids to know how to respond. 
Bullies and bystanders wield a kind of power so that victims feel small and need help, but the bully and the bystanders need help too. 
What is suggested for victims and bystanders?
Be calm. Don’t join the meanness.
Be brave and find a friend.
Be yourself. Be proud. Don’t believe the ugly words. Talk to yourself in nice ways.
Be loud, saying nothing hurts too.  Responses like “Really?” or “Stop it!” are good.
Be caring. Ask why the mean words were said.
Be kind. Don’t say mean words. Think about how you would feel if mean words were said about you.
Tell an adult who might have a solution.
Practicing one of these responses might make a difference. Then the situation can change. You have a choice.
Hanna’s Comments: Our children are our best hope for a loving future. I am disheartened by the rancor that surfaced in our presidential election and continues. I suspect that those of you in other countries find such insults disturbing too. It is smart to explore with children about how words can hurt and teach positive responses. Giving them opportunities to explore why hurtful words are said and how to respond creates more loving environments and more resilient children. We very much want these in our faith communities. Connecting these situations to scripture is easy. The Golden Rule grounds much of the instruction in this book. Also, there are Bible stories that involve hurtful words. A few of those are listed below. They all involve women. Imagine that! You'll find a Note to Parents and Caregivers in the back written by Kevin L. Nadal, Ph.D. If you would like a book that covers this subject for younger children, check out this earlier PBT [post] about 2 board books, one version of which has Spanish subtitles. 
Original Publisher & Date: Magination Press, 2015
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections:  The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12); Jesus talks with the Syrophoenician mother (Mark 7: 24-30); Jesus anointed at Bethany (Mark 14:3-9); Mary and Martha at home (Luke 10:38-42); The Woman about to be stoned (John 8:1-11)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children in Sunday School who have been saying some hurtful words to each other. 

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