It would be so great to know the right thing to say ALL the time.
If you're like the rest of us, that's not the case. In fact, sometimes it's a miracle when the right thing comes out. Like the time I asked a 20 something if she'd fallen off a bike, just to realize that she'd had a botox injection.
I meant well. Really.
It's like when kids do open up to us about bullying. It's so hard to know what to say. We want to say something that will help them with the situation but we often start "helping" them by trying to correct their behavior. That's totally justified because if there are ways we can empower our kids so they're not as vulnerable, it's worth a shot.
But maybe the corrections shouldn't be the first reaction. First, we need to tell them, "You don't deserve that! That's awful and I'm mad for you. Now let's have some ice cream (or carrot sticks depending on your parenting style) and let's talk about it." And then instead of talking, we listen.
The words take 10 Seconds. The listening can go on and on and on.