My eight year old son often hurts his friends with words. I know he’s clearly acting out when he feels bad about himself. How do I balance giving rebuke and elevating his self-esteem?
There are a few concrete things you can do.
Talk to him before or after he’s in the act, but not while he is acting out. Catch him when he’s available emotionally and tell him a thematic story. It could be about the animals in the barnyard who put down the weak horse or the new Russian boy in cheder who was excluded. You should convey the point that the good guy is the one who saves the persecuted ones.
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