Saturday, April 24, 2010


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.


  1. Teasing sure is a part of growing up but I've always said kids can say some very mean things to others. It's important to teach kids where the line b/w teasing and bullying lies. Great post.

  2. Teasing as Wanda says is part of growing up,
    but when that teasing causes hurt and pain that the teased person dread going to school/college then that's where the problems start, It can affect a person for life.
    I myself loves to have a good laugh mainly at my own expense but I would never knowingly tease someone that their life iss ruined.

    A very good issue here, thanks for sharing.

  3. I would like to know what the difference is between teasing and bullying. I suppose I know but would be interesting to see.

    Sense of humor gets me through a lot of rough times.

  4. Done without malice and the intent to enjoy another's discomfort - I'd imagine that is what defines teasing.

  5. Your teasing examples are funny and clever. I can see where kids would laugh at this kind of teasing. I only tease people i know really really well, in case it comes off the wrong way.

  6. I'd be interested to hear the difference too. I guess I don't see the instances you listed as what I've always heard referred to as "teasing". "Teasing" in my experience is more kids (and adults) making fun of others who are the slightest bit different... and I don't see how that is a normal part of childhood at all. It really does affect people for life... and saying "I was only teasing" doesn't take that hurt away. (I would say what I often hear of as "teasing" is really "bullying"... but I don't know that others would agree... I tend to be more sensitive than some at times)