Just Walk Away - Teach Your Children to Brush Off Teasing

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If you are a parent whose child is suffering from teasing, you should remember that there are options. Teach your child that there are different ways to deal with teasing, and encourage them to choose the one that will make them feel confident and good about themselves.

Choice 1. Accept the Teasing

What are the options? Well, the first option is that you can really take the teasing to heart. You can think about what was said, whatever negative insults the other kids could come up with. You can wonder if it's really true, and dwell on it, and finally let those negative words become part of who you are by thinking about them so often. That's the first choice, and sometimes the easiest. But it isn't the choice you should make. Dwelling on the teasing only makes your kids feel bad about themselves, and they'll become less confident and willing to play with other kids.

Choice 2. Brush off the Teasing

However, the second option is the one you should encourage your children to use. This option is to brush off the hurtful words. Don't let them sink into your psyche and become part of you. Instead, throw them away; let them bounce off you. The kids who are saying mean things are not the authorities on who you are or how you should feel. You can even agree with the hurtful words. If the other kids call you shorty, just say, "Yeah, I'm short. I know. Let's go play now." Bullies like to bring distinctive aspects about people into a negative light. If you don't let them do that, and it doesn't get to you, then the bullies have failed.

No Bullies Allowed

If the teasing escalates into physical bullying, however, then your child can't just walk away. Make it clear to your children that if they are unable to walk away, that there are teachers or parents, older authority figures, who they can go to. Your children shouldn't feel like they have to put up with being bullied, just because they're afraid.

Practice Ignoring Hurtful Remarks

So remember, tell your children that there are two options: to dwell on the teasing and let it become part of them, or to brush it off and move on.

Wouldn't they rather let those hurtful words slide off them than to let them feel bad about themselves? It may be hard for some kids, but if you try practicing it with your children, they'll become better and better about ignoring the teasing.

Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.

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