When a bee stings, Ouch! That hurts!
When your finger gets caught in a closing door, that hurts a lot.
Hearing a mean or hurtful word hurts a lot, too. When other kids say something mean or hurtful, it is hard to know what to do. Microaggressions or “ouch moments,” as they are referred to in the story, are brief exchanges where an indignity, insult, or slight is expressed—whether intentionally or not—from one person to another. For instance, when children use words like “lame” or “gay” to mean that something is bad, weird, or different, they communicate a message that having a disability or being part of LGBT community is equal to being bad, weird, or different. Children likely are not trying to be hurtful; they may just be repeating words that they have heard in the past and may not realize the discriminatory connotations. Young people have a wonderful capacity to care about each other. However, they need guidance, mentoring, and modeling from adults to understand the impact of their words and behaviors. Ouch Moments: When Words Are Used in Hurtful Ways explains these "ouch moments" in kid-friendly terms, offers practical strategies for what kids can do to help, and empowers kids to stand up to mean and hurtful language.
A Note to Parents and Caregivers by Kevin L. Nadal, PhD, provides more information about microaggressions, and strategies for talking to children about hurtful language, discrimination, and bias.
About the Author
Viviana Garofoli was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she currently lives with her husband, Sergio, and two daughters, April and Emma. In 1995, she graduated from Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredón with a degree in fine arts. Over the last 15 years, she has illustrated more than 20 children's books and contributed many editorial and textbook illustrations in Argentina and Puerto Rico.