Thursday, October 18, 2012

Teasing vs Bullying

"But, Viking Mom I was only teasing."
"So, why is your sibling crying?"
"But, I was just teasing."

Okay, so raise your hand if you have heard that one before?

Bullying is a current topic on the Viking Homestead. Despite having the personas of  Vikings we also have to deal with the realities of bullying.

The controversy between teasing and bullying is a tricky one; I have to admit. In the classroom I bring a lot of play and goofiness in due to the nature of some of my students disabilities. I rather play then do something boring anyways. Many of my students do not know how to play or just goof off with out being mean.

Teasing and bullying usually involves in poking fun at someone in a away that is thought to be funny, looking foolish, mocking, taunting, or joking around. Teasing and bullying can become physical. Tickling is also a form of teasing. When tickling becomes uncomfortable then it crosses a line.

The difference is that teasing generally involves a mutual sense of play. Teasing rarely involves religion, race, appearance or other important characteristics. It also doesn't hurt feelings.

Bullying does not involve a mutual sense of play and it will always include religion, race, appearance, or other important characteristics. Bullying is also considered a power play between the bullying and the target. Bullys will often target a person to manipulate or harass that target. It always leaves the target hurt feelings and does harm.

 I have always adviced the Viking Children that if they are being teased by someone and they don't like it they need to speak up. The motivation of the "teaser" becomes irrelevant and the teasing becomes a form of bullying.  Teasing can be as harmful as bullying, and for young ones can be perceived by a child be the same thing.

"Do not let your self worth be defined by a bully."

As parents we need to be our children's advocate and first line of defense. Speak up and take action of teasing becomes a form of bullying.

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