Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | February 9, 2012

teasing or bullying?

My son came to me after a function the other night, distressed about a group of girls, including his sister, taking his soccer ball off him and throwing it around so he couldn’t get it.

Now he gets quite worked up sometimes and you could see the steam coming out his ears. I was tempted to tell him to go cool off in the corner, tempted to put my arms around him and give him a cuddle, tempted to tell him to harden up and tempted to give the girls a piece of my mind – all at the same time.

He probably annoyed them first but you could tell by the looks on the girls faces as I approached that there was an element of guilt. But I just called to my daughter and said it was time to go home.

It was my two kids that bore the brunt of it in the car on the way home, even though I said I wasn’t witness to what went on and couldn’t and wouldn’t comment on that particular situation.

But…. I said there is a fine line between teasing someone in the nature of piggy in the middle and bullying someone. Do they look like they want to be piggy in the middle (aside from someone who is a sore loser and can’t handle having their turn at piggy in the middle, however lengthy).

If they are crying or steam is coming our their ears and they look ready to box you, it’s probably bullying.

If you’re bigger/older/stronger than them and they stand no chance of competing with you, it’s probably bullying.

I told my two they need to be prepared to stand up for each other – in any situation, especially a serious one, but even at school. Think about how they would feel if they were that person. If they wouldn’t like to be in their shoes, it will probably be considered bullying by the teachers so don’t take part and if you have the guts, do something to stop it (telling the teacher is absolutely fine, especially if it is an ongoing situation).

This parenting lark can get serious can’t it?

I had a separate word to my oldest about practising to stand up against peer pressure now, so that when “the situation” involves smokes or driving in cars, it won’t be so hard to say no and walk away.

She didn’t slam the door and tell me I didn’t know what I was talking about, so I guess she’s not a teenager yet!!

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