Is teasing by a parent or adult a form of bullying?
I was teased as a kid and it didn’t make me feel good about myself or the person teasing me. Did it “toughen me up”? Maybe? I can’t really say but I’m sure I teased others because of it which looking back wasn’t a great characteristic that I can say I was proud of.
I asked a few adults and kids their opinion on the subject and hands down the kids thought teasing from adults, parent or teacher, was a form of bullying. Adults have power over kids and if they use their position as parent or teacher to influence a child or their behavior, then words carry a lot more value. Do we really need to “toughen up” kids? I think there are better ways to teach coping skills than to knock someone down.
In speaking to adults there were some interesting reflections on their experience. Some felt that teasing at home in a safe environment could teach valuable life skills. It depended on the child since some highly empathic children could get very upset even in a safe environment like the home. What do you think?
On the blog RealKidStuff.com I cover the topic in the article advice for parents based on our own story of our daughter being bullied.