Hi everyone! I’m Mandy Bush and I am the online business manager for Cardinal Rule Press (Maria’s publishing company). I am a mother of 2 (son and daughter) and I will be blogging this month on Be the Difference and will be recapping some valuable tips from Maria’s new show, Empowering Kids With Character – The Show!

What We Say Really Does Matter - mariadismondy.com

On February 22, Maria gave us a great visual way to explain verbal bullying, verbal abuse and meanness to our children! You can watch the first part of the 2 part video here and the conclusion here.


  • Piece of paper


  • Draw a heart and make it as nice and pretty as you can.

Show your child the heart and explain that this child is so happy and their heart is gleaming and they have friends who respect them and are kind and sweet.

One Monday, this child’s friends started speaking unkind and teasing her. Her very best friends were calling her names. It didn’t just happen Monday, it went on all week. The unkind words just continued to happen over and over again (wrinkle paper while you say this).

Friday, this child’s teacher noticed that she wasn’t as happy as she normally was and asked what happened? The girl said she tried many things but her friends wouldn’t stop saying unkind and mean things to her. (Here, Maria said that the teacher gave the girl some suggestions, but that the suggestions the teacher gave is a whole ‘nother video lesson ?)

Then, un-wrinkle the paper and show your child that the heart is wrinkly and not as pretty as it once was. Her heart will never be the same. Continue by explaining to them that when we say unkind words to another person, we can say we’re sorry but people will not forget those unkind words. They leave a mark on our hearts. Physical abuse often leaves a mark that goes away but the verbal abuse sticks with you always.

You can personalize this activity by sharing a story of when someone said something unkind to you. Be sure to let them know how long ago that was so they see that unkind words will always stay with a person.

I really appreciated this video lesson – I know it was a lot more helpful for my son in realizing that what we say has a HUGE impact in someone’s life. Choosing to say kind and sweet things, instead of yucky and mean things, will always be the best choice!