Tarnation, I'm late again! No cookie for me!But I'm off today, so I can get “T” done, and get all caught-up. For “T,” I'm listening to Tool, Aenima. Probably their most accessible album, as they can be something of a “Musicians Band.”
Something I get a lot of fun out of is teasing. Oddly, I used to be a little too sensitive to it. For that reason, I can be pretty “Light Weight” with it, such as “I was feeling pretty handsome before you got here, now I just feel average.” If I'm more comfortable with the person, “How's that ointment working for ya? That rash still giving you grief?”
About a year ago, I had an opportunity to visit with an elementary school principal in his office (regarding a volunteer project that never got off the ground) and he had a poster outlining the difference between Bullying and Teasing. I can't remember the particulars, but I was quite impressed that it was addressed. Teasing among kids is normal social behavior, and can teach people to not take themselves too seriously, which I think is vital to mental/emotional health. Bullying has been getting a lot of press, especially since Columbine, and I'm really impressed that teasing was, in that instance, differentiated, and put into context.
The principal made a fascinating point: in any given sitcom, the comedy is insult-driven. Now we can argue about how appropriate this all is, but when we're done, it will still be so. I don't think it's something to fear, but let's keep it in context. I hope to raise my kids with a sense of what's appropriate, and a knowledge of time & place. (it's easy to still be idealistic when she's 7 months old :) )
THERE! YOU SEE!? I wrote that in my head as a natural extension of my style, and as I typed it, I realized that it illustrated my point nicely. By not taking myself too seriously, I can keep an eye on the goal, while keeping my capacities in perspective.
At work, I get to encounter a lot of kids, and I've seen plenty of reasons to be hopeful. Sometimes, I'll give them a bit of teasing, like “Wow, you must be a really great kid, 'cause that's a LOT of broccoli. When I was your age, I had to clean my room, AND shovel the driveway before I got that much broccoli.” Or, “What a great helper! Want a job? We've got a lot of floor to sweep when the store closes. Don't worry, we have a really big broom.” Kids generally take this pretty well, and have a little giggle. In general, I'm not too worried, and it's one of many things I'm keeping in mind as the role of parenting progresses.