How to Help Your Child Handle Teasing

I bear in mind the primary time my daughter got here dwelling from childcare and advised me one other youngster was teasing her. I went via a variety of feelings; anger and irritation at this different youngster who made my baby really feel “lower than,” and unhappiness figuring out it wouldn’t be the final time. How can I assist my youngster deal with teasing? How would I navigate this and future conditions and provides her the talents to be resilient and deal with such conditions?

Sadly, teasing is extremely widespread; it may possibly occur wherever and be arduous to stop. It may well vary from playful teasing, the place everybody laughs, together with the individual on the heart of the teasing, proper as much as hurtful teasing. This may embody name-calling, put-downs, ridiculing or making enjoyable of them, and something that causes an individual to really feel harm, offended, or unhappy.1,2

On the floor, teasing looks like a ceremony of passage as a result of it’s so widespread. Children tease different children; even inside households, there may be typically a little bit of banter and mild teasing. Nevertheless, teasing can rapidly escalate into bullying if kids don’t know methods to handle these conditions.

Listed below are some causes kids might tease others:1,3

Some kids copy what they see at dwelling or from their very own experiences. They could see different children doing it, have siblings who tease them, and even come from their mother and father.

Have you ever ever heard the phrase “any consideration is sweet consideration”? For a lot of kids, teasing is a method they use to get consideration from their friends or the grownups round them.

Many kids interact in teasing to slot in. In early childhood, proper as much as the teenager years (and even past), kids study the place they slot in socially. They need to be part of the “in group” or really feel related to their friends. So, in the event that they see their friends teasing somebody, they may copy them and get in on the motion to slot in.

Additionally, kids may see friends teasing, they usually may take part to keep away from being teased themselves.

Self-Esteem and Energy

Many kids who tease really feel highly effective, which may help enhance their shallowness and sense of superiority.

It’s regular for youngsters to note variations in how others look or act otherwise to them. Nevertheless, managing their response and response to variations takes time and apply. Sadly, they might resort to teasing as a means of processing or responding to individuals round them who’re totally different than they’re.

Early childhood is a time of huge development and improvement in language. Youngsters study new phrases and study that sure phrases or phrases get extra consideration and carry extra weight. So teasing is usually a means of practising and studying how their phrases affect individuals round them.4

Easy methods to Assist Your Youngster Deal with Teasing

First, acknowledge what this brings up emotionally for you. Maybe you have got a historical past of being teased or bullied, which may be triggering. Or possibly it introduced out the mama (or papa) bear in you. It doesn’t matter what, you will need to have some methods of your personal earlier than you assist your youngster, so contemplate:1

  • Ensuring you don’t overreact. Once you overreact, it may possibly prime or affect how your youngster responds.
  • Concentrate on affirmations of resilience. Guarantee your youngster is aware of you’re there to assist them, but in addition that they will cope and handle issues. Instill confidence in them.
  • Hear with out judgment. Droop that mama bear for a second, and simply be current and engaged together with your youngster. Ask them for particulars; who’s teasing, the place is it occurring, how do they really feel about it, and the way have they responded up to now?

Abilities to Assist Your Youngster Deal with Teasing

Equipping your youngster with expertise to handle the state of affairs can also be important. When kids understand that sure methods are efficient when being teased, they really feel higher capable of cope. Listed below are some methods that may empower kids and enhance their resilience.5,6

Encourage them to spend time with kids who need to spend time with them or who present kindness. We want them to see worth in themselves and to decide on individuals who additionally see this worth. They generally want encouragement and assist to make totally different decisions about who they need to be pals with.

Do not forget that typically children tease as a result of they get consideration? If we train our youngsters to disregard it, the individual teasing them received’t get the response they need and may be much less prone to proceed. It’s arduous, however encourage them to faux the individual doesn’t exist, stroll away someplace protected or the place there are protected and supportive individuals, and act as if the individual hasn’t mentioned a phrase. Within the case of bullying or extended teasing, this isn’t prone to be efficient and different methods are extra applicable.

So, somebody mentioned one thing imply. Positive, it’s disagreeable, but when your youngster feels assured and good about themselves, the message from the individual teasing isn’t prone to have an effect on them. Get them to consider whose opinion issues most to them, and actively concentrate on getting your youngster to know and title the issues that make them particular and fantastic.

As a substitute of getting upset about being teased for one thing like having glasses or braces, encourage your youngster to reframe what’s being mentioned. For instance, if somebody teases them for having a “steel mouth” or “practice tracks,” they may reply, “Sure, I do have braces.” It’s a proven fact that they do have braces, however responding in such a means will be complicated and off-putting for the individual teasing as they aren’t getting the response they had been hoping for.

To assist your youngster deal with teasing, guarantee they know who a protected or supportive individual is within the setting the place it’s occurring. Typically it may be mandatory for them to contain an grownup to help if the teasing is extended or escalating.

We have now checked out issues from the attitude of the state of affairs when your youngster is being teased, but it surely’s equally necessary to handle issues if they’re teasing others. It would really feel confronting for you however know that straightforward teasing (not bullying) is comparatively regular in improvement, they usually usually aren’t deliberately attempting to be imply or hurtful. However that doesn’t imply we shouldn’t handle issues. You may handle their actions by:

Is one thing occurring in your personal home that encourages this habits? Have they got a sibling who teases them? What sort of TV reveals are they watching? Or are you responsible at occasions of tormenting and teasing your self? Even when it’s good-natured, perceive that others outdoors your loved ones dynamic may not perceive or admire this. So, it may be time to alter a few of the interactions you or prolonged household and pals have together with your youngster.

There are numerous causes kids tease. Spend a while exploring together with your youngster the explanations they may be teasing. You will have to pay attention with out judgment and present curiosity slightly than being offended, annoyed, unhappy, or another feeling, as they’re prone to “clam up” slightly than disclose something for concern of judgment or punishment. When you determine the “whys,” discovering an answer or technique to cease it’s simpler.

Assist them faucet into empathy or understanding how others really feel about one thing. They could be much less inclined to do it once more after they understand and genuinely acknowledge that their actions might harm different individuals.

Most teasing is well handled, notably should you may help your youngster develop expertise to deal with the state of affairs. Nevertheless, if the teasing continues, is extended, and even escalates, it’s important to cope with issues otherwise, together with involving different adults. However within the case of basic teasing, attempt to assist your youngster perceive that whereas they will’t essentially stop teasing, they will handle how they react to it. They will additionally study they’re accountable for their emotions and aren’t reliant on others to be ok with themselves. That is empowering and can go a great distance towards defending them from the affect of teasing.

1. Freedman, J. S. (1999). Easing the teasing: How mother and father may help their kids. ERIC Digest. Champaign, IL: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Schooling.

2. Ross, Dorothea M. (1996). CHILDHOOD BULLYING AND TEASING: WHAT SCHOOL PERSONNEL, OTHER PROFESSIONALS, AND PARENTS CAN DO. Alexandria, VA: American Counselling Affiliation. ED 402 527.

3. Berry, Pleasure Wilt. (1985). LET’S TALK ABOUT TEASING. Chicago: Youngsters’s Press.

4. Brown TT, Jernigan TL. Mind improvement in the course of the preschool years. Neuropsychol Rev. 2012;22(4):313-333. doi:10.1007/s11065-012-9214-1


6. Cohen-Posey, Kate. (1995). HOW TO HANDLE BULLIES, TEASERS, AND OTHER MEANIES. Highland Metropolis, FL: Rainbow Books.

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