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To think it's okay to playfully insult your children?

(70 Posts)
joellevandyne Thu 02-Jun-16 08:32:32

Actually, it wasn't even me insulting my children, it was the kids' aunt, but I am 100 percent fine with it.

Scenario: Kids and Auntie (childless) are at the park. Kids are jumping in muddy puddles. Auntie tells them they are "diiiiiss-gusting!" in an over-the-top teasing tone. Two women are passing by and one draws a hissing breath and says to Auntie in a disapproving tone with a disapproving look, "Ooooh... you need to be careful about talking to them like that."

AIBU to think this lady needs to remove the stick from her ass (and her nose from other people's business), or is it really not okay to tease children with whom you have a loving relationship these days?

StillStayingClassySanDiego Thu 02-Jun-16 08:34:25

Nothing wrong with affectionate teasing.

I hope you both gave the nosey bugger the 1000 yard stare.

GreatFuckability Thu 02-Jun-16 08:35:30

Well if its not, I best get started saving for my children's therapy bills now!

EatShitDerek Thu 02-Jun-16 08:37:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DebCee Thu 02-Jun-16 08:40:17

I think in that instance it's absolutely fine, because they clearly aren't disgusting in any way, but you do need to be careful about putting your kids down about anything which actually is an issue, even jokingly. There's a saying "many a true word said in jest" and children will know if you really think they are rubbish, useless etc.

I remember being a bit shocked by a parent who constantly referred to her son as "useless" in front of him, I think comparing him to his very competent older sister. 16 years later, he has turned out to be.....pretty useless.

Mind you, I wouldn't even buy my boys those t shirts which say "Little Terror" or similar!

bigbuttons Thu 02-Jun-16 08:40:21

depends on the kids. My youngest hates being teased; it really distresses him. I have seen 'teasing' used as an excuse to bully and undermine so I'm not a fan of it personally.

CustardLover Thu 02-Jun-16 08:42:15

How old are the children? I would never comment on what other people say (unless I guess it was really damaging and outrageous) but tbh I wouldn't do this myself because I wouldn't want my DC repeating it to another child and perhaps getting in trouble. If I ever did call them something like that (have been trying to think of an example but genuinely can't) I would follow up with reassurance that I don't mean it and that they are lovely. I don't think I have a stick up my arse, and my DC are young so that might be why but I want them to feel completely secure in themselves and with me. I also think there's a difference between saying an activity is disgusting (and the child revelling in their daring mess) and the child is themselves disgusting so it does rather depend on exactly how you delivered that. So the woman was BU to tut at you but I think you were being a bit U too.

branofthemist Thu 02-Jun-16 08:44:53


seeyounearertime Thu 02-Jun-16 08:45:47

Hang on a minute..... yep, i just found my "Daddy Job Description"
It lists quite clearly:
Between Age 0-12
Gentle but loving mockery is allowed.

Be warned though OP, it does go onto say:

Between Age 12-99
Gentle mockery, once the source of much laughter, is now considered "Embarrassing"
Listening to music loudly and singing along is now acceptable
Dancing poorly when childs friends are in eye line is also now acceptable
Answering every statement made by the child with a "Dad Joke" is also acceptable and highly encouraged
EG: "Dad, I'm hungry"
Response should always be: "Hi Hungry, I'm Dad"
Please refer to "Dad Manual: Pages 67 - 245; Fatherly Humour"

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Thu 02-Jun-16 08:47:12

I got told off for calling my teenager 'shorty' in case it knocked his confidence. He is over 6 ft tall and it's its a bit of a family joke that he towers over me, I don't think there's much wrong with his confidence.

EatShitDerek Thu 02-Jun-16 08:47:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MollyRedskirts Thu 02-Jun-16 08:50:30

We're the type of family that openly insult each other, but it never crosses that line between jest, and hurtful personal comments. All the insults are along the lines of 'You're a massive poohead-weebum-stinkyface' or completely nonsensical, like 'You are an utter spatula.'

YANBU. It's affectionate, FFS.

Claraoswald36 Thu 02-Jun-16 08:51:44

My dc wouldn't have been giggling away at the auntie but I have to be careful with dd1 she really struggles to understand sarcasm at all.

RaeSkywalker Thu 02-Jun-16 08:53:17

That passer by would've been really horrified by my Auntie then. When trying to round us up at the park/ beach/ wherever she would loudly shout "come on hooligans!!"

Egosumquisum Thu 02-Jun-16 08:57:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EatShitDerek Thu 02-Jun-16 08:58:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pigsDOfly Thu 02-Jun-16 08:58:47

My immediate reaction to your title was, no, it's not okay, if it's teasing about their abilities or appearance, it can eat away at their self esteem and imo become very damaging.

In this instance however, the woman was just being stupid.

Egosumquisum Thu 02-Jun-16 08:59:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thatorchidmoment Thu 02-Jun-16 08:59:22

My kids love being told they are disgusting! It's a compliment. My DS4 has also become aware of poo and bums; calls his penis a 'dangle' confusedgrin and I am constantly asked if I have one too.
I personally make it my mission to tell each of my children that they are gruesome several times a day.


Hanch99 Thu 02-Jun-16 09:04:09

Whilst i think its ok to have harmless banter and a little teasing. I think Parents have to remember how powerful your words are to a child. They can increase a child's self esteem and decrease a childs self esteem. So there always need to be balance. For example as a child my parents gave me alot of love and encouragement and occasional teasing.
However i have an aunty who always use to tease me and my sister as children so much so that when i got to a teenager i didn't think she loved us or even liked us and had a mini break down about it (in a teenager dramatic way i know). My mom had words with her and she apologised to us and said she didn't realise how much her words were having an effect. Since that point she hardly teases and its like our relationship with her has totally changed. She is great and i love spending time with her and she clearly loves us and has a lot of time for us.

joellevandyne Thu 02-Jun-16 09:10:01

StillStayingClassy I actually wasn't even there (more signs of lax parenting) but that is probably just as well. Auntie gave her the "I'm sorry, did you just belch at me?" look.

DebCee bigbuttons I was bullied myself at school so am definitely sensitive towards words being used to degrade however subtly, but my kids seem to understand and enjoy the joking around of being called "horrible creatures" or "disasters" during rambunctious play.

CustardLover they're three and two. They do call each other "creatures" and lovingly harass each other for "revolting" bodily-humour occurances, but I've never heard either apply those words in anger or spite.

SeeYou I misplaced the original brochure about having children but to my memory it was full of errors like "Babies usually start sleeping through the night around three months" anyway, so don't think it would have been much use.

Heatherplant Thu 02-Jun-16 09:10:38

I call DS 1 a little rat all the time. It looks harsh typed out and I guess people do judge it but he thinks it's hilarious. Down side is he will now get as filthy as possible then say 'rat'.

crankyblob Thu 02-Jun-16 09:10:39

isn't it a peppa pig thing? Muddy Puddles and disgusting are both used frequently so much so that my 2 year old screams it all the time

Foslady Thu 02-Jun-16 09:11:53

All depends on the way how the words are used. I call dd Snotface. To an outsider could be terrible, to me and dd it's a compliment (both love Rik Mayall). In your case though, yes, stick up arse

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Thu 02-Jun-16 09:16:36

"Diiisss-gusting!" in an OTT tone is fine, its not really even teasing, just funny sillyness.

Personal teasing (about anything but top examples would be weight, body/ skin/ voice changes, anything to do with personal appearance, also he's your/ she's your boyfriend/ girlfriend or why haven't you got a boyfriend/ girlfriend etc teasing) isn't - especially close to puberty, and lots of aunts/ uncles/ family friends with aunt and uncle type status seem to think it is, and all the more so when the child/ teen is visibly very uncomfortable/ embarrassed/ humiliated hmm

Teasing intended to humiliate is not ok ever - especially when the teaser follows up on the inevitable reaction by telling the teasie that they "take everything personally" or "are too sensitive"... One of my grandmothers used to say "you need to tease them at that age" about pre-teens - no you fucking don't, not when its clearly humiliating!

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