As those who know me know, I am a great believer in power words. But even a power word out of context is pretty useless and sometimes can be antagonizing. I was reminded of the importance of this sort of context yesterday when dealing with a bullying incident at my son's school.
When talking to the participants in the incident at hand it was very interesting to see the context and nature of the impact the conversations that happened. Here are my observations:
- All the kids stories aligned – though each had gaps in what they saw happening
- The kids took away Ownership of the situation – though the situation was complex, somewhere in the questions or educating the school did, the kids took away that they were culpable in the situation.
- As a parent talking to your own kid does not give you the correct picture due to the words they will use to describe the situation.
All this is to say that often, kids will grab onto parts that they choose to capture, or clearly words with strong association, but often those words without context can not be understood outside of this circle.