I am cleaning off my desk this weekend. Several articles and various papers have collected and I’m sorting, tossing and dealing with them. I came across an article on teasing. Glynnis Whitwer in When Your Child Is Hurting says children can be more likely to be a victim of bullying if they are overly sensitive to good-natured teasing. Unfortunately, the article I read from a local preschool warned against teasing—adults shouldn’t tease because young children aren’t sophisticated and can’t handle it and parents should intervene if an older child begins to tease. We are to eliminate teasing from our behavior. As the article continued, it warned against over-protective parenting that rescues their child too soon.
So what is good-natured teasing? When is it age appropriate? How would you teach the difference between good-natured teasing and verbal bullying when different kids have different levels of sensitivity?