Creating Change Around Name Calling

Name Calling, what is the relation between Name Calling and bullying and how do you counter the effects of Name Calling

“Sticks and stones can cause fractures to your bones; however, names won’t harm you.” The version commonly used in the phrase is typically first heard in childhood, at least in English-speaking homes. Although experts seem to differ on its source in the form of a, it was nursery rhyme or a slave-created proverb; the phrase has been traced to at least the 19 century. Century.

There is speculation that it could have origins within English civil law, which states that insulting words cannot be a reason to resort to violence without a real physical threat. What about Name Calling?

In actuality, stones and sticks can break bones and even name-calling, with other severe verbal abuse could cause you to lose your mind and even incite aggression and violence. This article will assist you in comprehending and tackling the issues raised when bullying is characterized by name-calling.

You could be a teacher, parent or another adult looking to aid the victim or perpetrator and working towards improving the social atmosphere at your child’s school or neighborhood. Particularly if it’s frequent and continues to happen, harassment is not something to be dismissed – and neither should children be instructed to refrain from doing so in these instances.

Definitions of the Name-Calling

Definitions of the Name-Calling

  • Here’s a straightforward and clear definition of name-calling: “the act of saying insensitive things about or to anyone;” or “the act of using offensive words to degrade the person.” The scholar, J. Vernon Jensen, says that it’s “attaching to an individual or group, institution or idea a label that has an extremely negative connotation. It’s usually an untrue or inaccurate definition” ( Ethical Issues in the Communication Process 1997).
  • Its definition in the adult realm of politics is more specific: “the use of abusive names to degrade or insult someone else in a campaign, argument and so on” (Random House Dictionary,(c) Random House, Inc. 2014) or ” the use of offensive words in particular to win arguments or to provoke criticism or rejection (as of an individual (or project) without considering facts.” (MacMillian Dictionary)

Humans using Names and Labels.

The reason for and the practice of calling humans by names that Who ceremonially used in the early years of infancy has been hidden in the mists and obscurities of prehistory. It is almost as old as the practice of calling our beloved ones names, nicknames, or phrases of affection.

Usually, such names are cute or sweet – and generally used for things like honey, sweetheart baby Pumpkin, etc. Sometimes, however, when our children get older and become more playful and adventurous, pet names can change subtly towards becoming more descriptive and often tinged with sarcasm.

Examples include imp, hellion, and rascal, some of the names that come to mind. In some family contexts, it’s not an enormous leap to enter the category of verbal abuse without even realizing it. Tubby slowpoke, rascal, and stupid are a few less threatening names that are sometimes used in the family context. This means that the habit of calling names can be learned or reinforced by a family environment from an early stage of life.

It could be charming, poetic, and well-loved but may become irritating, inaccurate, or even verbally abusive. Children may be taught offensive or abusive words towards others without knowing or being taught about the off-putting nature of doing this.

Having to use snide names for other people can be more pervasive and damaging to the fabric of society in the case of inheriting prejudice or hatred towards a certain category of people. It could be based on race or religion, sexual preference or class, ethnicity, or any other cause of “Otherness” human beings could come up with. Children who grow up hearing a lot of derogatory words being directed at any among the “Other” groups are likely to become adults who can exhibit and express these opinions verbally. We’ll talk more about this particular type of calling out later in the article.

Why are You Reading This?

This article could be a source of help and motivation for a variety of types of individuals:

  • Maybe you’re (or have been) the victim of bullies who use names and is searching for solutions to your issues or understanding the past events that may impact and negatively impact you.
  • Maybe you’re the parent or guardian of a child who has been the target of name-calling and seeks advice and ways to deal with and alleviate the situation.
  • Maybe you are a caregiver or parent of a child who has been the victim who uses the tactic of name-calling, and you’re hoping to figure out ways to help your child realize the need to change and adjust to new behavior.
  • You could be an administrator, teacher, camp counselor, scout leader, or anyone else who serves as an adult leader with children who wants to increase their understanding and discover ways to create positive change.
  • You may be “just” an individual in the wider society who understands the dangers of bullying are an actual and current risk in our society. You’d like to participate in the never-ending efforts to make our world kinder and more gentle.
  • You could be a professional or researcher who is looking to gather as much information in the best way you can.

Based On Personal Experience

Every one of us has likely experienced some of the practice of name-calling in the form of “victim”, “perpetrator” and “observer/helper.” Before we dive more into the discussion of name-calling and the connection with bullying, it’s important to understand that we are in the realm of emotions, rather than logic.

We invite you to reflect on your first memories to become more in touch with the feelings. Make a list of names you’ve been known by. Your first thought will likely be the nicknames and pet names your family used to give you when you were a young child. These names could have been based on your initials, like Junior or Jackie or even a physical feature such as Dimples, Red, or Skippy. Enjoy for a few seconds this hopefully happy memory, possibly accompanied by the voice of your mother and father.

Then shift your focus and look back at the first moment you heard that voice say something mean that was snarky or judgemental to another person or maybe even yourself. You’re stupid! You’re extremely slow! Self-centered! Check if you recall the first time that someone was rude to you and threw out a name like that. What were they calling you? What did you think?

Name-calling takes place within the world of emotion in raw form. The world is controlled by the part of your brain that is pre-dated by human living things: the amygdala. It is the brain that processes the emotion that is essential to survive our ancestors’ times of fighting or fleeing and anxiety. In this realm of emotion that is raw, the slurs directed at other people could even be an element of survival instinct. It’s not a meticulously thought-through, fair description.

What is the reason that Human Beings Rely On Name-calling and Insults

  • It usually is a result of an emotional issue that is out of the control of the person who is the perpetrator.
  • It could be a way to assert your authority over a situation, even if the person committing the act feels insecure or uncertain about himself/herself.
  • It could be a method to exclude others before being exclusion oneself.
  • It could be the result of mimicking behavior experienced or learned from other sources, especially within the family.
  • It could be an indirect reflection of prejudices that have been taught regarding class, race, or gender.
  • In less rare instances it could be the result of serious mental health issues of the person who is responsible, leading to an attitude that is out of the control of the person’s rational mind.

We now know something about the behavior of “name-calling” and other verbal abuses fueled by emotion. Coming from various sources within the perpetrator’s mind, we’re ready to examine its effects on the lives of its victims.

Impacts On Victims whose Names have been called

There is a broad range of negative effects that names calling can result in:

  • A decrease in self-esteem
  • Refrain from normal social interactions
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy”fat” or “dumb “fat” as well as “dumb.”
  • In the most severe instances, suicidal thoughts or a rash of actions

Do You Think Your Child is Being Abusive Yet Hasn’t Told You about it?

Keep an eye out for any non-verbal signals that could signal an issue:

  • After school or crying at the playground or having red eyes
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Inventing excuses for not going to school
  • Impersonating characters
  • Beware of playing alone
  • Has trouble sleeping
  • Feels helpless and guilty

How to Help “Victims” Develop Solutions For Health And Healing

  • First, you must create a secure area for the victim to share their emotions of fear, hurt or vulnerability. It could be as simple as talking in private and without restriction with an adult who is caring and therapeutic play or writing for children older than 10.
  • If the “victim” appears to have exhausted all feel they’ve expressed and is unable to express their feelings, then it might be the perfect moment to discuss the situation.
  • Reassure that they have your support and love regardless of what happens, and praise your appreciation for them as they are, what they’ve learned, and what they will accomplish.
  • Begin to slowly move into an argument based on reason, first stating that they could be the victim of this bully with no reason at all and that the main issue lies with the perpetrator, not with them.
  • Please think of how they can each respond to bring about positive change in the situation’s dynamics.
  • Think about ways Who could alter the social setting, such as by creating school programs. It is as if you, were the “victim,” would want to be a part of creating the event.
  • Get professional counseling or medical assistance for the victim, if necessary.

Creating An Affirming, Positive Environment

  • This starts with creating a positive, affirming environment at home.
  • Individually praise the child every time feasible for a well-done or accomplished task, regardless of whether it was an academic or artistic accomplishment.
  • Encourage interest in hobbies or talents in art, music, athletics, and other fields.
  • Make an effort to create a harmonious home, beginning with yourself. Monitor your language for any verbal abuse or sarcasm
  • Learn to resolve conflict in a rational, peaceful method
  • You might consider helping a larger social group (for instance, an institution, church or school) take action collectively against bullying with programs or other organizations.

Resources for Training in Conflict Resolution Skills

What is Not Helpful?

  • Never advocate violence in retaliation.
  • It is not suggested that the perpetrator “ignore” or “stand over” the abuse if it happens more than once and especially not using the adage “sticks or stones.”
  • Do not offer any emotional or escalated reaction

What if verbal abuse Involves Physical Violence

  • I hope that the victim will be able to share the details with a “safe” adult
  • If medical assistance or an assessment is required, seek it as quickly as possible.
  • Contact the medical professionals for advice on whether counseling for psychological issues is necessary and think about seeking a referral if it is needed.
  • Verify if the identity of the offenders is well-known
  • Contact any relevant institution, such as an institution of education or a recreational facility where children and adults are involved. Ask what they plan to do to react.

Name Calling That Goes Beyond The Individual

A lot of times, name-calling can start with a learned habit of prejudice towards a specific category of people. One of the most well-known examples is racial slurs. While significant progress in social equality has been achieved through the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s, racism is active and present throughout the United States.

The first steps towards extreme bigotry, and sometimes violence can be seen in the first year of the early years of childhood when a child can use the term “derogatory” to refer to other children. This can range from the most obvious “nigger” and “hoe” to more subtle remarks about facial features, hair, intelligence, or social class.

In the great multiculturalism currently taking place across America, and the U.S., it is not just people with an African or African-American heritage that are vulnerable to these assaults. Every immigrant and ethnic group, religious group, and ethnic group (to mention a few indicators of diversity – numerous others) are tagged with insulting names by which they are often labeled. You’ve heard them all in the past, and there’s no need to create the entire list in the context of this piece.

If your child contacts you but can report a specific type of insult as part of an assault, Begin by following the steps described previously in the article HOW TO ASSIST Victims to develop solutions. When it’s time to discuss and discuss the issue with the victim, discuss in terms appropriate to the age of the issue of racism and what it looks like. Make it clear that they were not targeted because of their traits but because they are portrayed in a certain way.

Inform them that you’ll be in touch with others who might be able to assist. Your first contact should involve the institution or another establishment to which you could be able to report the incident. Suppose the incident isn’t thought to be so serious as to require intervention. In that case, you should ask about the programs the school is using to tackle the issues of diversity and multiculturalism. If you get “none,” you’ve got the job cut out!

Gender Identity

Another major issue that is difficult to identify the issue is the calling out of the issue of sexual identity. Children in the older elementary school years and adolescents have already established gender identities; however, once they reach puberty, these issues and concerns are a major part of their perception of self.

If they have doubts or questions regarding who they are, whether they are gay or bisexual is an important aspect of their battle with adolescence. Being accused of being that one thing or another isn’t just a matter of causing immediate harm but can also be detrimental to the process of developing an identity. Many tens of thousands, if not millions, of teens, are caught in this position.

The lucky few have an understanding and supportive adult or two to support their struggles regardless of whether the person is a parent. Some children are afflicted by parental or legal guardians that push their children into a “reorientation program” to “reform” their behavior and identity. Many are stuck in the middle; It’s not hard to plunge them into the downward spiral of self-esteem loss, despair, depression, and suicidal thoughts and actions.

One of the causes that aren’t surprising is that you are being bullied through name-calling.

Many organisations aid GLBTQ teens through housing, counseling and other activities. The best place to begin is GLSEN (Gay Lesbian, Gay, and Straight Education Network) which provides various online resources and suggestions for programming. In particular, they’ve created a school-based program called “No Naming Week” that has been running in hundreds of schools since 2010.

A Different View

Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D., provides an interesting and different perspective on name-calling in an article titled “Sticks and Stones: 4 reasons for name-calling as well as four crucial interventions.”

She starts by pointing out the fact that “name-calling” in adults has a myriad of reasons. Some of these could be considered semi-legitimate, for instance, in political ads. We must end it when it occurs in children without figuring out why.

The idea of pointing out that name-calling of any kind has been around for a long time and probably always will (at the very least in positive form.) Instead, Bailey wants us to look at why children use this method and what new techniques we can teach them to allow them to express their feelings which are normally not allowed.

Based on brain and development research, she has identified four different types of name-calling and four types of strategies for transforming behavior into more humane emotional and social abilities. The four reasons she has identified:

Adult modeling, inability to manage emotions, bonding, and aggression

Adult Modeling

As we’ve said previously, Children learn to call names from adults. Sometimes, these are words of affection, but they are often designed to influence behaviour. Sometimes, they’re complaints directed at someone who might not be able to listen – like a driver in a different car, however, children in the vehicle are aware of the adult driving’s displeasure. They are taught that calling names is one way of dealing with life when things are not happening your way.

The answer? Adults as role models need to be taught new strategies for handling their anger and displeasure for us to be able to alter the behavior of our children.

Inability to Manage Emotions

Children are still developing into humans. In some cases, in the context of age, the adult models they have in their lives or simply their behavior, they might decide to call people hurtful names. From a mature perspective, it might appear as a sign of an act of sarcasm or lack of compassion. Perhaps, these kids may not have yet developed self-control or the ability to speak in a manner that is appropriate for them.

The answer is to help youngsters understand their emotions and strong feelings, consider what they would like to happen and then develop the appropriate skills to manage the emotions or resolve the issue. If you repeat this expression pattern repeatedly, your child will eventually be able to express his frustration in more appropriate ways.


The third reason for name-calling doesn’t have to be negative. It can be an unwise attempt to create a sense of belonging within an entire group of children who might refer to themselves with some specific name like geeks, jocks or. While this can create an impression of belonging to the children within this group, it could also be a way of excluding others. Name-calling can be harmful when employed to exclude others, particularly middle school girls.

The answer is to slowly begin to transform the mindset of the institution, or the school environment by modeling adult behavior and giving new techniques and skills. Discipline is always focused on “good” and “bad” behavior and is an external system of judgment that splits children into two camps. It is better to create internal motivation to cooperate with a focus on safety, connection and problem-solving; then, the need to call names will disappear to create a more inclusive and cooperative environment.


Bailey’s final reason for the behavior of children who name-call is the one we usually consider first: intentionally hurting each other. If a child cannot demonstrate superior ability in solving conflicts and issues, This is their preferred method and is most often acknowledged by adult interveners.

Certain children let names fly across their backs without concern, while other children resit discomfort. If they can perceive the child’s aggression as a way to get attention and not a danger to them, they might be able to overlook the issue. If they believe that the label is real about them or others, they could feel hurt. Parents must know. If children are hurt deeply by a specific label it may have numerous negative consequences as mentioned in the previous paragraph. The parent who is caring for them should aid them in self-healing.

The most important thing is that Bailey states that we must alter our beliefs and definitions. The mere use of the words “victim” as well as “perpetrator and aggressor” isn’t appropriate even though the exchange is typically an attempt to get assistance from both parties. “The “victim” will be asking for help because they are unsure how to respond to this kind of aggression. He needs to learn to assert himself and assert his rights. The “aggressor” seeks help because she isn’t aware of the best way to handle the conflict. Both children lack the essential social skills they need throughout their lives.” Bailey writes. Bailey.

in Conclusion

Bailey says she believes that “Name-calling is a widespread issue within our culture. Suppose a child’s name-calling stems from the influence of an adult. In that case, the wrong way to handle emotions attempts to make friends or a combination of these; adults can take concrete and concrete steps to teach children a better method to communicate with others. I hope we can move beyond our efforts to find quick solutions and focus on the work necessary to transform names calling into positive, social-emotional abilities. As with all major changes, the process starts within us and spreads beyond our family members and those under our charge.”

In need of help and more assistance

If you’ve absorbed all the collected wisdom until now, you might also start to think about whether you are in some more complicated or desperate situation than what has been discussed. As we’ve discovered over the last several years, some children suffer from serious mental or emotional issues that require more assistance than the teacher, counselor, or parent can offer.

For a moment, let us return to the conventional definition. This could be the case for “a victim” or “victim” as well as the “perpetrator.” In this instance, the victim might have lost confidence in themselves to the point that mental health issues could be triggered, like depression, eating disorders or suicidal thoughts. This kind of problem requires professional intervention.

It might be more difficult and even less appealing to think about whether the responsible person has learned negative coping behaviors from their early years (modeling adults), which could be altered and improved by teaching useful skills in a school setting. There is a possibility that the aggressive behavior is due to a medical condition that the child is desperately seeking treatment for.

It could be due to anger-producing outbursts triggered by a condition such as Tourette’s syndrome to the early diagnosis as bipolar disorder or personality issues or even sociopathic symptoms. Even though the “victim” might be affected by verbal abuse, the “perpetrator” might suffer from a more serious condition that needs urgent intervention.

We are working together to create a More Kind, Gentler World.

In the end, as adults concerned about name-calling, bullying, and other verbally abusive behaviors, it is best to change our ways in the manner Becky Bailey, Ph.D., suggests. We should be watching our behavior and speech – both spoken and written – for instances that show call-to-arms throughout the day.

This does not mean that we should not be tolerant of the aggression of others or settle conflicts by avoiding confrontation. However, it does mean that we need to move beyond the amygdale-driven, emotional reactions to the realm of logic and the conscious techniques for resolving conflicts that we can master. Making this change will not make a difference to the children we have in our lives.

Second, we should work to create an encouraging secure, loving, and nurturing environment in which children can flourish. Who can do this by focusing on our own homes and the relationships we have with the children in those homes? Also, we can try to support our clubs, schools or camps as well as other institutions that have been designed to achieve the same goal by suggesting resources or offering assistance directly.

In the end, we can participate in the efforts of others to develop curricula, programs, educational models, and materials to create a new learning environment for kids. Making events that teach and inspire. This is the “No No-Name Calling Week” started by GSGEN previously mentioned is an excellent illustration, but there are numerous other initiatives locally and nationally and sometimes, even from children.

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