Words Can and Do Hurt: Tips for Handling Name-CallingWHAT DRIVES NAME CALLING OR INSULTS?
Children or adults who ‘name-call’ do it for many reasons: It is a pattern that’s learned from older siblings or parents.

Consider the insecure mother who lives under a husband’s critical shadow. If their child is a witness to parents who insult each other, it’s only a matter of time before they will have children who follow in their footsteps.

“It’s alluring…like an aphrodisiac of power and control over the victim,” says Strouse. “And we have to remember that a child who partakes in ‘bullying’ behavior has learned it from someone in their own life.”

One 12-year-old shared that she feels she has to respond in kind when called names or insulted by siblings. “I get angry that she’s calling me ‘annoying’. That’s why I answer back. I have to protect myself because I’m the youngest.”