on subject of teasing 'shaping their personalities'

parent_of_oneSeptember 19, 2010

I found it in someone's post on parents forum about teasing. amen to "you are shaping their personalities". Please don't get fooled by the fact that your kids/stepkids are laughing with you. don't. damage is done no matter if they laugh with you or cry.

i also want to add that maybe some people think it is OK because that's how their parents treated them, please don't repeat the cycle, it is narcissistic behavior

here it is, thanks to whoever posted it.

"I grew up a scared child, always fearing the unknown.I dont have many friends. Maybe one true friend..I am very hard to get to know. I dont do well in social situations. I think I grew up always waiting for the other shoe to drop and I cant break the cycle. Please Dont tease your children for a laugh at their expense. You are shaping their personalities!"

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"some people think it is OK because that's how their parents treated them, please don't repeat the cycle, it is narcissistic behavior"

That's a blanket diagnosis.... not really a fair statement.

From the one sentence you clipped, that doesn't say much about HOW the OP grew up. It could have been an abusive home where the child was the butt of all jokes, put down, teased, and badly mistreated. I could take that sentence and imagine that there was no stability and OP never knew what to expect. There was chaos and maybe an abusive home where OP walked on eggshells, not knowing when the next rage would happen. Embarrassment from this abusive homelife may have caused isolation, not making friends so they don't have to explain things. Not much interaction with others so not knowing how to deal in social situations. So much can be GUESSED about what OP's childhood was really like. Or maybe it WAS teasing.. on a daily basis, mean jokes that were at the child's expense. I believe everyone would agree that anything "at the child's expense" would be considered WRONG. It would be impossible to take what is said on a public forum & come to the conclusion that teasing alone, caused all of the problems the poster stated.

"You are shaping their personalities!"

What happens during "The formative years" is what primarily shapes their personalities. That is usually by age 3 or 4. Also, the child's natural disposition will play into how their personality develops. What makes one child laugh may make the next child cry. Part of parenting children is to be able to distinguish what your child's needs are and meet them. Instilling fear in them may hinder them from exploring. Keeping them 'safe' by not allowing them to go outside to play or do certain things may restrain them from being social or taking any risks... or depending on their natural personality, may create rebellion & resentment. Teasing CAN be a bad thing, but it CAN also be part of the bonding process. The ONLY person that can say, is the person being teased.... 'cause everyone is different.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 2:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

too often the person who is teased is way too young to make that judgment or to tell that they are hurt or to understand what's going on. and too many parents do not understand what their child needs, unfortunately I see consequences of it every day. i wish parents knew what their children need, too bad it is not the case...

I think laughing at your kids how clumsy they look tripping and falling is wrong, laughing together at a funny joke, movie, book is great. i think bonding with your child on making fun of them is messed up. I don't think it is bonding. it is different from two adults poking fun at each other.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 2:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My DGS just learned to walk.. he is still clumsy & falls. When he falls, I laugh. I am not laughing AT him, I want him to know that falling is part of the process of learning and not BAD. He smiles & gets up.. he thinks it's a joke or funny BECAUSE I laugh. If I got worried & upset every time he fell, he would get the cues from me that falling is something to be upset over & then he'd probably cry.

of course, he is also developing his personality... he's 18 mo. old.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 3:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My mother also treated everyone with respect and consideration -- that is how we were raised, and I think that is a good way.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 3:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Laughing at a funny joke is not the same as teasing, & saying "Oops! haha falling down is no big deal" isn't the same as teasing.

Teasing is cruel.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 4:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

laughing with your child as he/she falls as to comfort him and make light of it is one thing and it is understandable. but if you push that child and laugh as he falls, it would be a completely different thing. simply not nice. some of the teasing described appears similar to pushing a child and then teasing him when he falls. not nice.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 5:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

PO1, talk about skewing the subject! Here's the whole post:

"RE: Teasing Question
Posted by jenny07 (My Page) on Sun, Aug 22, 10 at 10:53

I was the youngest of 3 girls in my family. My family always used to tease me. It happened alot and sometimes it would be when my parents had the family or friends over. I think they thought it was entertaining. The worse was at Christmas, I would be so happy ..then someone would turn to me and say, I think Santa left one last present. Mom would say, its out on the back porch. Wrapped in Tin foil it was. I was so excited to open but a bit weary. To my mortification, it was a raw turkey neck. I received that present several years in a row. One year we went to My Uncles house for a Christmas visit and of course they handed my sisters their gifts but when it came to me, It was a shoe box wrapped in tin foil. I immediatly began to cry. My Aunt coaxed me into opening it..and i did slowly. She filled it with cupcakes and cookies and inside was also the same shaped box my sisters received. It wasnt til recently that I realized My sweet Aunt, tried to undo my previous holidays. It wasnt just my Christmas present..it was everytime I was free and happily playing that someone would do something to bruise whatever confidence I had.
I grew up a scared child, always fearing the unknown.I dont have many friends. Maybe one true friend..I am very hard to get to know. I dont do well in social situations. I think I grew up always waiting for the other shoe to drop and I cant break the cycle. Please Dont tease your children for a laugh at their expense. You are shaping their personalities!"

See, I've posted the link to this thread once already, and stated twice that I didn't think the turkey neck was ok. You've posted after me on both occasions, so I would assume you would have read and understood that.

I think not paying attention to what others are saying, not attempting to understand how others are feeling and continuously misleading the subject (the poster, whomever she is... um, hello? Her screen name is right here, from where you clipped the post just enough to make it seem relevant) would be far more harmful and degrading to a relationship than teasing. Given the option of having a parent who will not pay attention or a parent who will tease with good humor I choose the latter.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 7:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The point is that teasing can be viewed differently by the teaser and the teasee. I suspect in step situations there are more likely to be misunderstandings - where kids have not known others since birth

As Sylvia said, it is safer to not tease.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As I said on the teasing thread:

"Posted by silversword (My Page) on Sat, Sep 18, 10 at 11:05

KKNY, why do you think my DD has such a clear vision of teasing that feels "good" and teasing that feels "bad"?

Of course, when someone has grown up with their parent there's a level of familiarity that may not be there with a new stepparent. It's prudent to establish a basis for respect so that everyone knows they are loved."

Yes, it is safer not to tease. It's also safer to never let your child swim in a pool if you are never there, never let your child eat whole grapes or chips (does anyone remember the mom who crushed her teenager's chips through high school so they wouldn't choke?) never let your child cross the street alone.

Don't take chances. Don't ever kid around, you might not be understood.

I have such an open face, people know when I am lying, teasing, angry, etc. It's obvious. And I have not been accused of being mean by anyone. I obsess over making sure everyone knows my intentions are friendly.

"oh my gosh! where did your nose go????"
"are those carrots in your ears?"
"I'm gonna eat your belly, nom nom nom nom"

My dd loves to hide, and "where's DD???".... oh, I left her at the store, she said she'd catch a ride home with the display witch on her broom.... is a frequent type of conversation DH and I have.

EVERYONE knows we're lying, or teasing, or playing. Whatever you want to call it.

DH sometimes will say "did you pick up dd" and I will say, "ohmygosh! I knew I forgot something!!!"

I have eased, eased, e a s e d into teasing SD. She doesn't get teased at all with her mom. But she will FREAK when she does something she perceives to be wrong (which has other indicators...., IMO). "I dropped a carrot, I'm so sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry". The first couple of times I just looked at her and said, really calm, that it was ok. After a while, I'd look at her very stern (mock stern, very exaggerated) and point to the bedroom.... THAT'S IT! To your room with no supper! The look on her face was priceless. She broke into a huge grin and said "you're joking?" and then we both laughed. Whew! tension averted.

Sometimes it's safer to tease. It all depends on the intention. Do you want to play? Is the way you want to play so everyone feels good, or do you want to be the only one who feels good? Are you willing to put someone else down to put yourself up or are you trying to elevate the mood of everyone?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sheesh! I skip town for 3 days and you're still harping on about this when I get home?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 7:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOL Ceph!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 11:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Haven't you learned, Ceph? When there is an opportunity to twist something into a completely different topic altogether it must be fed and fed until it grows another head and becomes a monster on it's own.

Just teasing. :)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 11:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think "teasers" always think what THEY are doing is in good fun. I think "teasing" can lead to bullying, either by the teasers or the teasies. If your kids did the same things at school that you are advocating to younger kids, would you expect a call from the school that your kid is just well, mean.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 6:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The reason there are so many different opinions on this subject is that 'teasing' is a general term that can mean anything from joking & exaggerating to being mean.

Kids believe fantasy... Santa, Easter Bunny, tooth fairy, etc. & we play along with it. That is a form of teasing... and kids usually enjoy the fantasy.

Trick or treat! There's a time to dress up and pretend to be something else (kids & adults) and tell scary stories & it's teasing to tell the kid "oh you scared me!", when they didn't. Parents usually play along with the kids fantasy & imagination. That can be a form of teasing when we go along with child fantasy... pretending they are a super hero or scary monster. In my opinion, it would be mean to tell a child they are not scary... they don't have super powers... they aren't REALLY a princess! They know they aren't those things but kids like to pretend & going along with their imagination is teasing.

The teasing that can lead to bullying is the kind of teasing that makes a child feel helpless... putting them down, making them feel bad, insulting. Kids that are not participating, but are the butt of joke/tease could suffer problems from it. THOSE kids feel powerless so they look for someone less powerful than them to bully so they can feel more powerful.

When I used to complain about walking home from the bus, my parents would say how they had to walk to and from school, ten miles in the snow up hill both ways..... I didn't go to school and beat people up because my parents joked, teased & made light of my dislike of walking home. Mom also told me she was going to mail my dinner plate to starving kids in a 3rd world country when I didn't like my veggies... I imagined boxes big enough to fit the plate & worried how the food would get there without spoiling. I was even a little disappointed when she never actually took my plate & sent it. I can honestly say, I never felt the teasing was "mean". To this day, my dad teases me and I still see/talk to him daily (we share an office). I tease him all the time too. Of course he thinks kids today are too babied & pampered. It took us over a year to hire ONE guy in his 20's that has strong work ethic & isn't doing drugs, tattooed, or getting in trouble with the law.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 9:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think being polite hardly translates to babying. A person can set reasonable expectations and still be polite. To me that is the mark of a good leader.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 10:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Giving EVERY kid that plays a sport a trophy so the ones that played poorly won't feel bad.

Not keeping score at games because the losers will be hurt.

Passing kids along to the next grade, even when they do not know the material... don't do their homework & have bad grades... because they will feel inferior & humiliated to be left behind... and they will be physically bigger than the other kids that are a year younger & they will be traumatized. (How do you think they are going to feel if they are in the next grade level up & don't know what the heck is going on because they aren't ready for it?)

Allowing the kids to make adult's decisions when they don't have the ability to foresee the consequences of their decisions. (I've had grown women come into our store to get equipment for an event & ask the child what they should get... there's a thin line between encouraging them to form and give an opinion, but talking to your 4 year old like they know whether you should get red wine glasses or white? SERIOUSLY? But I've seen it many times. Asking the kid at the grocery store to give ideas for dinners so you can buy ingredients... normal. Event planning? WTH?

and teaching kids that they are too good to do physical labor... I can't tell you how many applicants come into our office (young men) and only want to answer the phone & work the computer. That's nice. It's MY job. I need workers that can load up the truck with tables, chairs & tents. Then go deliver them. It's strenuous work, but all of my kids have done it, including my daughter who is currently working for me. She is proud of her strong arms & that she can deliver 30 tables & 300 chairs all by herself. It's nice to want our kids to have skills to do less physical labor, make more money & have a better life. My daughter won't always have to move tables.... if she likes, she can go to college or she can learn the business & take over some day... maybe have her own store. But there are WAY too many young people that want the big bucks with no manual labor involved.. they are too good for that. BS

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to wonder how much parents shape their children's personalities and how much is external.

Why Parents (Still) Don't Matter
By Kathleen Kingsbury Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009

Parenting practices are a product of the culture. Just in my lifetime, the philosophy of parenting has undergone a complete reversal. I was born in 1938, and my parents didn't worry about my self-esteem: they worried that too much praise or attention would "spoil" me and make me conceited! Parents showed very little interest in their children's schoolwork in those days � that was the teacher's business, not theirs. And of course, physical punishment was used routinely. Despite these sweeping changes, personality traits have not changed � people today are no nicer than the people in earlier generations. But it does no good to tell that to the helicopter parents. They are convinced that they are playing an essential role in their child's life. Perhaps their children will look back at these efforts with amusement someday.

Here is a link that might be useful: Why parents (still) don't matter

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 12:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ima, EXACTLY! It seems like so many kids think that they are entitled to have good things in life or to be good at things with no effort whatsoever on their parts.

If you want an allowance, you do chores (actually you do chores regardless if you're part of the household). If you want good grades you need to study, if you want friends you need to be nice to people, if you want to have expensive things you need to save your money until you can afford them, if you want to be a good athlete/musician/dancer/artist, you need to practice. Many of these things are boring, tedious, or just plain hard - but they've got to be done. If parents justify away everything that does not go the child's way as someone else's fault (telling them that the soccer coach is biased for not starting them enough rather than telling them that perhaps the coach will start them more often if they step away from the video game and go outside and practice kicking the soccer ball), they're never going to get better at soccer, and they will learn that things that don't go their way are caused by someone else, not themselves.

When people are trying to learn something new, they are going to make mistakes, and if they are not able to laugh at themselves I think they're more likely to give up. If I try to make a souffle for guests and it turns out to be 1 1/2" tall, and we put it on the table and laugh at it while we eat take out Chinese instead, I'm much more likely to try it again than if I end up bawling that the world has ended and I'm humiliated and embarrassed. And I think one of the ways that people become able to laugh at themselves is through good-natured teasing.

If kids see that their parents are able to laugh at jokes at their own expense, they're going to understand that no one is perfect, mistakes are nothing to be ashamed of, and that people who love you do not expect perfection. The problems arise, I think, when a combination of the two exists - kids who were never taught to try, try again and who also take themselves so seriously that they cannot stand to fail, even once. That's just setting a child up to become an adult who honestly cannot understand why they cannot get what they want from life.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 12:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well said Mattie....

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 2:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

certainly nothing wrong with manual labor, but the same as professional activity is not for everyone, physical labor is not for everyone either (I personally cannot lift even one table let alone 30 no matter what i am paid)

I think there are plenty of people who do manual labor. I am surprised to hear otherwise. many of my students have jobs and those are all manual jobs, and most of them have parents who do physical labor all day long. I don't know who are all these people who do not want to do physical labor, unless of course they have qualifications to do something else.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 6:28PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Venting and disengaging
Since the horrible experience of my step daughter's...
adult step son and his girlfriend lives with us
i just want my privacy. we have never had any. met...
How to Prevent Adult Children Living with You
If you and your spouse are of retirement age, move...
Choosing Cats over Friends
Sorry, I'm posting this here because I don't know where...
Need advice please....stepson!
I am 25 and I think I have had enough of my 9 year...
Sponsored Products
Eliot Leather Daybed - Brighton Lemon Grass Yellow
Joybird Furniture
Geometric Heart in Yellow Wall Art
$24.99 | zulily
Point P Wall Sconce by Leucos Lighting
$220.36 | Lumens
Texas A&M University Lamp Shade 13.5x13.5x10 (Spider)
$69.99 | Lamps Plus
Carlton Garnet Red Paint Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Sample
CliqStudios Cabinets
Nova Lighting 10519 Tusk Single Light Bent Arc Floor Lamp - 10519
$908.50 | Hayneedle
Sherry Kline 'Encircle' Bath Accessory 6-piece Set
Noir Arm Chair in Cream
$174.99 | Dot & Bo
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™