Growing up with brothers or sisters leaves us open to being teased. Big brothers tend to tease their sisters. You can normally tell when someone is teasing, but how far must a tease go, before it begins to materialise into something more than just a tease?
Why do we tease?
- To be noticed;
- To show others that we can be the centre of attention;
- To get satisfaction from the tease;
- To know that we can tease;
- To amuse ourselves;
- To annoy the person being teased;
- To hide our vulnerability;
- A bad habit that we find hard to break;
- Perhaps a bribe from someone to see if we’ll do the tease.
That even if a tease starts off as something harmless, it can turn into something more. If we are going to tease someone, it is important to know whether they have a sense of humour and will take the tease in good faith, but if we know they won’t and we still direct the tease at them, then it’s considered to be a form of bullying.
When the person we tease begins to feel uncomfortable and needs to stand his or her ground, then it is obvious it’s more than just a tease. If and when it happens in the playground, it’s more likely to be a form of bullying. There is no doubt that being teased shapes our past, present and future with memories that we’re not fond in remembering. I was that child.
Perhaps we ought to teach children that it’s not right to tease, but if it’s something they continue to do, they must accept full responsibility for their actions and any consequences.
Unfortunately, and my experience has shown that not all parents take their children to task on this.