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Teasing - when to allow and when to stop it?

(9 Posts)
tiger66 Thu 18-Nov-10 20:40:47

My 3 and half year old DS has hit the humerous stage and likes joking and making people laugh. However recently he has started saying things like "you're a dodo face" or something to the equivalent. I don't know where to draw the line at being able to say haha that's funny and that's quite unkind to say that.

I do feel that it is unacceptable and want it to stop and when I say to him that it is unkind to call people names he says "only joking". I don't know whether I am being over the top sensitive wise and should let him act this out or whether to be strict with him. He is a lovely little boy and very kind to others but has always liked making people smile and laugh and I think this is his new way. I haven't seen him do it to others but he does so it our house.

I was teased by my whole family and am actually quite fed up of it as I feel that you should just be nice to people rather than constantly teasing. When we are around my family e.g. his grandparents and uncle they tease him (as I was as a child) and I am sure that this has fuelled it.

Help would be appreciated. Thanks

Simic Thu 18-Nov-10 20:59:32

Ignore it and hope he will a) see that he has no audience in you and b) copy your behaviour of not teasing???

tiger66 Fri 19-Nov-10 18:34:52

any other ideas?

BlueberryPancake Fri 19-Nov-10 19:39:34

I don't accept teasing at all between my two sons. Obviously, the oldest one will say things like 'you're more little than me' and 'you're a baby' to his little brother (they are 5 and 3.5). The younger one obviously gets upset. So no teasing at all is tolerated, I tell them off even if they say 'you're a baby' or 'you can't eat with a fork haha'. I want them to learn very early to respect each other in the way they speak to each other.

I can see at school that some parents are much more liberal. THere's a boy in my son's class who is constantly calling names to other children and his mum can't control it. I think it's only going to get worst.

Unfortunatly it's often black and white for children. I think that they find it very difficult to make the difference between what is 'acceptable' teasing and what might hurt another child's feelings. So in our family, it's no.

Ignoring it is not an option for us. They have to know that it's not the way we speak to each other.

They will copy other children and have a go at it, I'm sure that the oldest is learning that behaviour at school.

tiger66 Fri 19-Nov-10 20:51:29

Thanks Blueberry pancake, that is exactly how I feel but just needed the confidence to know that someone else agrees. I guess as I was brought up with it but disagreed, I wasn't sure if I was being over the top.

I will now put my foot down to know that I am not being over the top. The next hurdle is confronting the grandparents and letting them now that that kind of thing is not accepted in our house! (Probably harder to deal with than the children!)

BlueberryPancake Sat 20-Nov-10 18:27:21

I think it's also important to try and equip them on how to react when they are being teased. When DS1 is being called names (you're a baby!!) at school I can see that he just doesn't know what to say back. He just looks blank and doesn't do anything at all. At least he is not responding agressively, but what I say to him is to say back 'don't call me names' as loud as possible and then tell me, so that I can have a talk with the teacher.

Adair Sat 20-Nov-10 18:38:06

Absolutely BlueberryPancake, but I try to teach dd that the other person might not realise it's upsetting her. So in the first instance you say calmly, 'please stop saying that, I don't like it' then if they continue you say 'well, I am not going to play with you if you carry on'. Then walk away/tell teacher if not in position to walk away.

I follow the same pattern if she is 'teasing' me inappropriately and hopefully by modelling, show her how to watch for someone's reactions. Cos gentle teasing IS sometimes funny but v hard for a 3/4/5 yr old to gauge (my sister once gave my dad a card with Happy Birthday you big pig' on it, supposed to be funny, I think... grin

tiger66 Sun 21-Nov-10 19:13:05

Thanks, I think I maybe need to do more of the teaching him how to react if he doesn't like it especially with my parents and brother. This may help.

I agree - there is so much gentle teasing that it is hard to know when it is no longer gentle. For example - that card would have really upset me as I have had anorexia in the past but to others they may find it funny! Guess it's important that they need to understand when is too much or not appropriate!

Adair Sun 21-Nov-10 19:49:24

Oh no, and it just wasnt funny, just awkward (we still tease HER about it though wink).

Even as adults, it's all about watching the response you get and being sensitive.

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