Archive for April, 2010

Hurtful Teasing

April 27, 2010

When teasing is no longer defined as: ‘ . .in a playful way’, it can be a form of bullying!  And, this psychological bullying is just as harmful as physical bullying!  Most people would refer to this bullying as ‘teasing hurtfully’ as contrasted to ‘playfully’!  One form of psychological bullying under the term ‘teasing’ is ‘name calling’.  The child who is subjected to this form of bullying often feels helpless and often worthless!  Some parents who otherwise would not even think of bullying their children physically, will engage in this teasing – this name calling, this labeling – and the group present will laugh at the expense of the child being teased!  The negative effects on the victim of this teasing can be very harmful!

So, we all want to once again let the child know when the teasing may happen, and give the child some voice in whether or not this is going to be appropriate.  We will do our best to stay away from negative and hurtful labels for our children – no more: “you’re so stupid”, or “you never get it right”, or “I knew you wouldn’t be able to do this”, or any form of name calling!  We want our kids to have feeling of self-worth and a sense of their ability to have control over their own lives in accordance with the age and ability!

No more ‘Hurtful Teasing’!  The price we have to pay for that might be much too high!

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On Teasing

April 22, 2010

One Definition: Teasing: to make fun of or attempt to provoke a person in a playful way!

We do not tease a child unless we first announce (or let it be clearly known) that we’re setting out to tease him/her and we will always remember the words:  “. . in a playful way!”

I was born into a family of ‘Teasers’!  My grandmother who became my substitute mother after my bio-mom died, loved to tease, and she would always let the child or the other know that she meant all of the teasing in a ‘playful’ way!  I remember her saying, “I’d never tease someone I didn’t love!” and she meant that.  Since she so often ‘gave it out’, she was obliged to ‘take it’ when the teasing was aimed at her!  Whenever she baked a cake (one cake a day for a long period of her life!!) she expected someone to ask who had helped her lift it from the oven or what brand of concrete she had used to make this cake.  And, we’d laugh as she feigned embarrassment and threatened the teaser in a playful way: “OK, then!  No cake for you!”

So, I’ve raised my children being subject to teasing – and, hopefully did it with love of the child foremost in my mind.  So, we’ve grown up laughing at (and learning from) mistakes, recounting the number of times someone has done something foolish, spilled something on white clothing, or misspoke at a special time!  And, the rule is:  We don’t tease unless we’ve made it clear before the teasing, that we intend to tease! And, in our minds, we remember that the teasing be done in a playful way, never intended to ambush or embarrass someone without their knowing it was coming!

A talented and sensitive principal who worked in the California schools sat with me in the airport waiting for my plane to board and take off, shared with me that she saw all forms of teasing as bullying and did not want anyone to tease her, and she did not tease others.  More about this aspect of Teasing in our next entry!

Examples/Lectures?

April 20, 2010

“I need examples, not lectures!”  Parents need only look in a mirror to know how their children will behave, respond, ‘be’!  Want your children to laugh heartily and frequently, then you laugh heartily and frequently, Want your children to be quiet instead of brash and loud, then you speak quietly to them!  Want your children to follow the norms of society, then you must follow them.  Children look to you, Mom and Dad, for their guidelines for behavior!  What behaviors do you want to impart to your kids?  Which behaviors do you need to present as examples?