Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Name calling - Naomi Aldort / CPS

Name calling  exists in negative relationship between kids, sibling, parents and kids, spouses etc . Name calling is symptomatic of kids lacking skills , unsolved problems or values.  To really deal with the unsolved problem , we need to engage in collaborative problem solving and share with kids values of respect , altruism and community.  

 Naomi Aldort has a video clip which deals  with name calling. Her approach is to teach kids that words do not hurt and one not need to get upset if someone expresses his opinion about me.  By dealing with the bully and reprimanding him for saying hurtful words we are not helping the victim , the victim is learning the words can be hurtful.

Now Naomi Aldort is right and wrong . She is right that when it comes to ourselves we have to be insensitive and wear a rhino skin, but she is wrong when it comes to others. We have to be sensitive to others , that words can be hurtful and disrespectful . Sensitivity is for others.

When we engage in collaborative problem solving and start with the opening statement – the empathy stage where we try to get input from the kid and put his concerns on the table , it is better to be neutral or use understatement about  ' hurtful language ' .  I have noticed when we talk about ….. ,  your language is not the most appropriate – what's up ?

If we would say  '  hurtful language '  - the kid may well reply  -  Mom , you need to learn to deal with your feelings .

As parents and care givers we need to go beyond the  words .  The idea is for caregivers   is to think about what kids need (emotionally speaking) , probably haven’t received and possible lacking skills.   That way, she can see “the vulnerable child behind the bothersome or menacing exterior.” Focusing on the CPS mantra – children do well if they can – helps us to deal with ' hurtful words ' .  If we need more protection Naomi Aldort's – Byron Katie's approach is very useful.

A lot of bullying is done by kids who are socially skilled and use bullying to establish their social positions and popularity. Here the problem is more about values and building a community of learners as well as learning how to assert one leadership abilities and popularity without resorting to ' name calling' . CPS helps to bring the victim and the bully together and help them collaborate and find mutually satisfying solutions, maintaining the dignity of both kids and building friendship and community.

Name calling  which continues for a some time ,can be a traumatic experience. Traumatic experiences are not only one time , powerful and negative experiences but the day in and day out experiences of mild abuse takes its toll.

The answer is to deal with the problem and not just with the symptomatic behavior.



  1. Are you aware that Aldort has disclaimed her Ph.D. http://clarificationstatement.blogspot.com/2011/07/clarification-statement.html

    There is a discussion regarding this action at the Amazon page for the book Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves: http://www.amazon.com/Ph-Disclaim-Author-Naomi-Aldort/forum/FxNX8DH5IVLF0Z/Tx1OCP9NN6QGOBJ/1/ref=cm_cd_ef_rt_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1887542329

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  3. Hello Alan,

    Thank you for your comments about my video clip. Some of your interpretation of what I teach is a misunderstanding. The video is short and a partial information. There are no two aspects but one, and both children learn to be more sensitive to the other and more compassionate. There is no offender and no victim; that divisive point of view is the problem that this approach eliminates. Not being hurt is also not a matter of “thick skin” (which is not desired) but due to an ability to take harsh words with honesty, vulnerability and often humor.
    It takes a whole article to do the subject justice but I thought I would let you know that your interpretation misses the intention of this approach and its consistent success with families world wide. I may write an article about it to make it clear. Thank you for bringing this confusion up, as it helps me to address things more clearly.

    Naomi Aldort