Just because someone is nasty to you does not mean you should reciprocate the behavior, Rabbi Shmuley says. "America risks becoming a 'culture of mean,' a place where people denigrating others becomes a blood sport," he says.
Rabbi Shmuley says one of the causes of this "culture of mean" is the amount of fighting children are seeing in their homes. "Kids witness their own parents, whose love brought them into existence, hating each other and fighting," he says. He shares tips for protecting your children from the culture of mean:
Don't fight in front of your children.
Don't use swear words or attack words in front of your children.
Don't watch TV shows where the entertainment value comes in the form of exploitation or humiliation of others.
Don't patronize radio hosts and TV hosts that boost ratings by creating "boogeymen," Rabbi Shmuley says. "We can disagree in this country without being disagreeable, without hating each other," he says.
"Children have to be raised to be respectful, kind and gentle. Parents must drum into their heads that while those who display hostility and meanness may for a time prosper by denigrating others, in the long term, what goes around comes around, and they will be undone by the hostility they have fomented in the world"
Printed from Oprah.com on Monday, December 9, 2013