“Locker Room Talk” has become a trending topic in the news recently. Some people brush off these types of remarks with “boys will be boys,” or by saying it’s “just talk.” However, the reality of the situation is that there is no such thing as “just talk.”
According to Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, leaders in brain-and-communication research, hostile words can negatively change brain chemistry while positive words stimulate motivating frontal lobe activity. The more you engage with a word the more areas of the brain are stimulated.
Pause there and consider that last statement for a minute. Focus on the word more. The problem, today, is that there are more words, more often, in more places. Locker room talk doesn’t just stay in the locker room anymore. It gets broadcasted and engaged with over and over. And that can have deep, painful consequences for someone.
Words have power, the lens through which we view our world is greatly influenced by the words we speak and hear. As parents, we are often left out of the peer-to-peer communication that transpires at school, on the playground, in the locker room or on mobile phones. You cannot monitor everything your child hears or says, but you can talk to them about it.
Last Spring, we created the resource below for The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. They believe and I agree, that kids need to learn early in life how to treat others with respect. The resource is written for boys but I believe the same message could be taught to girls. Use the resource to start the conversation. You may spare your child from hurting others or you might discover that your child has already been hurt by words that you need to refute.