Christine found out that her daughter was being teased by some kids in her class and as a mother she felt heartbroken. She couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be mean to her sweet and kind-hearted daughter. Christine knew that she had to take action to protect her daughter and make sure that the teasing stopped.
She started by talking to her daughter and letting her know that she was there for her and that it was not her fault. Christine quickly became aware that it’s important a to take action to protect your child’s emotional well-being when your kid is being teased and targeted at school.
Understanding the reasons that kids tease
Teasing happens in every school, and it can cause a lot of stress for kids. Understanding why some children get teased and dealing with the effects can help your child have an easier time coping.
There are many reasons that kids get teased, and the answer is not always obvious. Sometimes it is because the child doing the teasing is seeking attention, they want to be admired or feel powerful with the other kids in the class.
Teasing can be used as a way to establish dominance over another child and to create a social hierarchy. Kids in higher grades can easily tease kids in the younger grades to quickly feel superior and important.
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Another reason that kids get teased is because they have a trait or behavior that causes a bully to single them out. It is important that parents assess if their child is doing any behavior that is making them an easy target for bullies.
Effects of Teasing
Teasing affects each student differently. Some kids have been taught how to handle it and they deflect with humor and the teasing isn’t such a big deal. For other kids who don’t know how to deal with being made fun of, teasing can be incredibly stressful.
When a child is repeatedly teased and targeted by classmates, they may feel lonely and depressed. It can also make a child start to dislike school. If your child wants to stay home sick more than usual, take note that something more serious isn’t going on.
Teasing can lead to bullying, and it is important to give your child the skills to deal with it, so they can shut it down quickly so the situation doesn’t escalate into full-blown bullying.
Building self-esteem in your child
If your child is being teased at school, it may lead to your child having a loss of self-confidence. Parents need to step up and support their child during this time. What’s important to remember is that building self-confidence is an ongoing process.
Developing coping strategies when your child is dealing with teasing
If your child is being teased you are going to want to teach your child some coping strategies as soon as possible.
Using Humour to deflect teasing
Humor can deflect teasing quickly. Humor lets the bully know that your child doesn’t take themselves too seriously, and won’t get upset or be triggered by the name-calling. After all, bullies are looking for a response and what they really want is for your kid to become visibly upset and react.
The best way to shut down teasing is to reply with a funny comeback. Believe it or not, being quick witted is a skill that you can teach your child. Your child can learn how to respond to the child doing the teasing.
Teach your child how to respond with comebacks so they are prepared to deal with a bully. I find that clever replies are always the best, they leave the bully a little stunned, and most of the time they are not quick enough to come up with a reply.
If your child needs some help with this, or you need some help knowing what to teach your child, check out our bundle Verbal Self Defense for Kids Made Easy.
Seeking support when your child is teased
Make sure that your child knows that they are not alone, there are adults and family who can help with the situation.
Talking to trusted adults
Let your child know that they should come to you and tell you what is going on with the situation. Your child can confide in you and you can loop in the teacher. The teacher may be able to help you find additional solutions at school.
Some people say the child should go straight to the teacher and report the teasing. There have been situations where children have been blamed for things that aren’t their fault at school. Another child has twisted the truth of what actually happened.
I would advise your child to tell their parents everything that happened, and then you can report it to the teacher. It is important that parents are advocates for their children, it is a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease.
Finding peer support at school
Your child is not the only kid to experience teasing at school. I am sure that all of their friends have been teased at school at some point in time.
One of the best things parents can do is help strengthen their child’s friendships during this time. Have kids over for playdates, so your kid will have someone to hang out with on the playground if it happens again.
We want our kids to have allies on the playground because the bully is less likely to target a child in a group of kids than a child by themselves. Knowing that your child has a friend group for support, should give your child some relief on the playground.
More posts you might like that deal with teasing
- 7 Strategies to help your child deal with teasing at school
- Top ten comebacks kids can use at school to deal with teasing
- Why does my child get teased by the kids at school?
- Turning a bullying situation around for your child
- More clever comebacks that help with teasing
Promoting a positive school environment
Schools should be creating a positive environment for kids and taking steps to put an end to targeted teasing and bullying. There should be a code of conduct listed on the school website, which outlines what is unacceptable behavior.
Often kids have fun and banter, but when someone is repeatedly teasing and picking on someone else they have crossed the line.
Promoting inclusivity in schools
Schools should be promoting an inclusive environment and educate students about diversity.
By teaching kids about respecting other students, schools can create a positive atmosphere where teasing and bullying are less likely to occur.
The Role of counselling and self care
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Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home.
Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.