It would be easy for a mother who discourages all manner of teasing, who rarely teases her children, and who disciplines for unkind teasing, to create an atmosphere of hyper-sensitivity toward inevitable teasing.
I’ve seen children who instantly melt under any teasing. They take offense quickly, and assume that all teasing is mean-spirited. I’ve seen it in my own children on occasion, and I don’t think it’s a good thing.
Love demands that I assume the best. Love is not quick to take offense, and love covers a multitude of sins.
I want the children being teased to learn to enjoy loving teasing, ignore careless teasing, and lovingly communicate a discomfort with mean spirited teasing. Teaching them to understand what teasing they like, and what they don’t like (and why) seems like a good beginning. Those we love benefit when we help them understand how to tease us in a loving way.
That means I want to articulate for them what I’ve observed about teasing:
- It’s fun the first time, but less so each successive time.
- People tend to enjoy teasing about something they’re confident in.
- Don’t tease about appearance. Period.
- When a person trusts that I love him, he will be more likely to enjoy being teased.
- Hiding criticism inside teasing is not loving.
Lots more, but you get the idea. Mom, I feel like a children’s worksheet is emerging. 🙂