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Teasing

Posted by silversword (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 16, 10 at 14:10

Came up on another thread and I don't want to hijack, but am wondering; do you tease? Do you think it's healthy?

I tease my DD all the time... mostly about food because she can be persnickety.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Teasing

We tease all the time.. The kids tease us, we tease them, we tease each other about all different things. We have fun doing it. Feelings dont get hurt. I think as long as its in good fun and not to be mean then its fine.
My SS11 has a favorite blanket/throw that he hides before he leaves to go back to his mom. When he is on the phone I tease him that we are cuddling up with that soft, wonderful blanket of his.... He knows I am just having fun with him. IMO it is an ingredient for a healthy relationship.


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RE: Teasing

Lol on the blanket Jess. That's exactly what I'm talking about.


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RE: Teasing

I think when SM says she will bring her nephew to live with them, when she know the stepchild wants to be an only child is not good natured. Then SM gets upset when kid says she will run away.


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RE: Teasing

My dd wants to be an only child too. I tell her we're bringing home twins and they'll have to sleep in her room.

I guess it all depends on the relationship, but I think teasing can be very healthy and not immature. I tell DD sometimes to watch out, we could invite (insert annoying kid's name here) over for a weekend!

I also tell her I'm leaving her places (I'm sure the clerk will take you home, and she'll probably let you feed her pet tarantulas!) or she'll have to stay home alone (don't worry, I left plenty of spinach and rutabaga in the fridge so you won't get hungry) on occasion. It sounds mean, and maybe it is? But I don't think I'm a mean mom and we have a very good relationship.


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RE: Teasing

Do you think the poster in the other thread has a good relationship with her SD? Given that person wants to have kids, her DH doesnt -- dont you think this is a heated topic there? do you really think it was good natured?


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RE: I don't know...

I don't know if they have a good relationship. I'd imagine it's become a heated topic (not being able to do something, and then finding out it's a possibility sure can change things). I don't know if it was good natured. I wasn't there when it was said. So much context can be lost in non-verbal nuances.

I can understand not wanting more kids (I don't want more kids) but if my DH wasn't able to have any and then suddenly could and really wanted one, I'd have another.

If her DH would not want that for her, I think he's not the guy for her. Anyone who really loved someone and knew the love of having their own child would never want to deprive another person of that joy. IMO.

And a 10 year old should have absolutely no input.


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Not Good Natured to Me

I can understand not wanting more kids (I don't want more kids) but if my DH wasn't able to have any and then suddenly could and really wanted one, I'd have another.

If her DH would not want that for her, I think he's not the guy for her. Anyone who really loved someone and knew the love of having their own child would never want to deprive another person of that joy. IMO.

And a 10 year old should have absolutely no input

========================================

I assume you would not just do an oops but leave him if he would not have a child.

I never said, nor did anyone else, that the 10 YO should have input. But if someone tortured a 10 YO of mine (which to me this is NOT good natured teasing, it is a pretty serious conflict) that person would have shown me that she is not capable of being a parent, at least to my 10 YO and would get the boot.


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RE: Teasing

Silver: I totally agree.

My SD14 thinks she has the right to tell us that we cant have a baby. We tell her that if we want to then we will, we will not ask her permission if/when we decide.
We have discussed it, and my DH said that if I wanted one of my own that he would welcome a new baby. WE are still adjusting to our stepfamily so it will be some time before we get serious about it. His kids are older and he is not looking forward to all the baby stuff, BUT he wants me to have the joy of having my own child.


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RE: Teasing

Jess, NO ONE is saying the 10YO has a say. The problem the OP had is that her DH doesnt want a baby.

In the meantime, do you think it is right to tease a 1oYO over something like this? I think it stinks.


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RE: Teasing

"I assume you would not just do an oops but leave him if he would not have a child."

I think doing an "oops" is just as wrong if not more than denying someone the chance to have a baby of their own.

"But if someone tortured a 10 YO of mine "

We have different definitions of torture, obviously :)


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Oops -- clearly wrong

I think doing an OOPs is MUCH worse. It is totally unacceptable. And I dont see the DH as denying the OP a child -- she can have a child with some one else.

As to whether the child is being tortured, I think that is probably just as slanted when you refer to this as goodnatured teasing. It is despicable. I hope her DH is watching her better.


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RE: Teasing

kkny: The nature of the teasing is the key.

If I teased my SD about a new baby in a way that I knew would make her mad/upset, then that would not be right.

If I teased her about a new baby in a laughing/fun/loving way, I think that would be fine.

Same subject, different nature of teasing.

To answer your question: I dont think its right to tease a 10YO in a way that the OP knows will make the SD cry/mad/upset. If that is the case.


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RE: Teasing

We tease SS11 that we're going to pack cat-poop sandwiches for his lunch.
We tease him that we're going to leave him at the city dump because there's plenty of food that's only kind of rotten to eat and maybe he can become friends with the seagulls and pigeons. He'd like them; they only stink a little bit ;)
He knows we won't do either of these things, and it's all in good fun.

Sometimes we tease him about being wound up.
It depends on the day. If he's good-natured, but bouncing off the walls, teasing is well-received and can be a good way to settle him down. If he's having trouble managing his emotions or is feeling down that day, obviously teasing about his insane energy level would be a bad choice.

We would never tease him about his speech problems.
We would never tease him about how BM used to pawn him off on whoever would take him.
Those things would be hurtful, no matter what context they were in.


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RE: Teasing

My default position on teasing is "don't".

It's very easy for the teaser to say that it's all in good fun & people should be good sports, while the person being teased is hurt.

Intentional or not, it isn't worth the risk.


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RE: Teasing

Sylvia, ITA.

Also, it borders on passive agressive by SM. She wants a kid. Lets harass anyone she percieves as being in the way. And then, oh I was just teasing.


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RE: Teasing

We tease our kids and they tease us back all the time.

We tell them if we have a baby, they're going to be in charge of all the poopy diapers. :) They think it's funny.

DH teases DD about a boy she likes--she gets all funny, and giggles and says, "Daddy, stop,' but she's laughing the whole time.

It's fun, it's normal, and as long as it's not about anything that could be construed as hurtful, well...

IE--I would never tease DD about bedwetting. Or SS because he can't tie his shoes. Or DD because her front tooth is crooked. Or SS because he struggles with reading.

But playful teasing, IMO is fine.


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RE: Teasing

This kid threatened to run away. And then SM is annoyed at that.

I dont think she is helping her case visa vis helping convince dad she would be a good mom. To his kid or any of their kids.


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RE: Teasing

Some people are just too darn uptight to tease or be teased.

My relationship with my SD will never include good natured teasing because it would cause all sorts of problems with BM. She would drag us to court over peanut butter & oatmeal, what do you think would happen if we said we would leave her or feed her... well, anything she doesn't like? (let alone some of the things listed here) But, I did (and still do) tease my kids & we poke fun with each other. It is a part of our relationship and we share 'inside' jokes. It is terribly sad that kind of relationship will never happen with SD...

But, telling a child you want another child when they don't want to have a sibling is far from "torture"! Seriously!!! That's too funny!

Passive aggressive? Maybe. But hardly deciding criteria to determine if she would be a good mom. That's downright insulting... but that's what some people resort to when they have nothing substantial to support their argument.

My son threatened lots of ridiculous stuff "if I married DH". I married DH and my son learned that HE didn't make the rules for MY life. Five years later, they actually get along well. (and yes, my DH was annoyed at my son's attitude toward him, just as I get annoyed with SD's attitude toward me.... they are kids & if they had their way, parents would do what the kids want and there would be a lot less divorce.)


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RE: Teasing

Depends upon the person... and the relationship I have with that person... and the sensitivity level of the potential tease (i.e. no jokes about bedwetting or anything that would/could be potentially construed as hurtful)... To each his own. I personally LOVE teasing and joking but only when it is mutually enjoyable.

Getting back to that other post, we really don't know what their relationship is. Just because the poster is upset about that certain aspect does not mean that she doesn't have a good relationship with the child (good enough to joke with); and we don't know if the child was joking back when she said that she would run away, etc. However, I can see why the poster would be upset to think that a child could/would dictate whether she and her husband should have a baby together. My thoughts are that the poster is upset about the whole issue and even though we all know that the child is NOT the problem (her DH is), I know how little things can add up and add up and add up and add up until you are ready to explode with your own impotent rage and the littlest slight (like a child telling you that she wants to be an only child and she'll run away unless...) may look like it's blown out of proportion until you add it to the entire context of the problem.

That was one really long sentence!

LOL!


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RE: Teasing

hahahahahahaha

"cat poop sandwiches"

That's too funny.

I think that none of us know the context of the teasing in the other post because we weren't there to hear it. I tease my dd that she is going to go live with Aunt X if she misbehaves... that particular Aunt YELLS A LOT...

I don't tease her if she wets her pants. I tell her other kids may tease her. I think it's important for kids to know what is "good" teasing and what is "mean" teasing. And for kids to be able to say "that's not funny" or "my feelings are hurt". It's good practice.


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RE: Teasing

If teasing is torture then my house would be hell. We tease each other all the time - from the 6 year old to DH. Yes, the younger ones can sometimes cross the line, but I think it's a good way to teach them where the line is. Dinners at our house are a riot, and I think it's because we can all laugh at ourselves and each other. We don't take everything so seriously. We find the humor in situations, which I think is a necessary life lesson.


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RE: Teasing

Lonepiper

The thing you refer to -- " (like a child telling you that she wants to be an only child and she'll run away unless...)"

the threat to run away was only after SM said she would bring her nephew there.

at best -- a SM who can dish it out, but can not take it
at worst -- a SM with no sensitivity -- who takes out her problems with dh on a 10yo


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RE: Teasing

We tease SS all the time too (when things are OK), and he teases us. We tell him we're going to have liver for dinner, and that when he grows up he's going to have six children (he had six kids last time we played the game of Life), and he teases DH for snoring and his fear of spiders and teases me about silly things as well. But, like the other posters, we'd never tease him about something hurtful.

However, if SS starts joking about something then we will kid along with him. For example, if he crashes his bike sometimes he is embarrassed and upset, then we don't tease at all. Sometimes he will laugh and say did we see him sailing through the air like a bird before he hit the ground and then we will say that we think he looked like a penguin since they don't fly or something.


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RE: Teasing

Well, the SD10 really knows what works now, doesn't she? Instead of expressing her feelings, she knows that she can just say "I'll run away" and daddy and sm will stop whatever they were doing and beg her to stay!!!

I used to threaten to run away too. My mom would offer to pack me a sandwich and remind me to take a sweater in case I got cold.

How is it ok to threaten but not to tease?


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RE: Teasing

Lets recap. SM started this.

She says I will bring my nephew to live here, knowing the stepchild doesnt want it. Is that a tease or a threat?

Kid says I will run away. Tease or threat?

In the original post, the OP said her DH said he didnt want more children, because he wanted more freedom. For him. Did not say becuz my kid wants to be only child.

Frankly, I think OP has only made her sitation worse by this exhange. Now, her DH still wants freedom of not having a baby (and lets all agree, babies are work), but he sees that his DW puts more conflict in motion.

But, still please answer question -- why is it OK for SM to start this exchange, and not expect an answer back in kind


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RE: Teasing

I'm not saying it's ok. I'm saying I wasn't there, so I don't know the tone. If you look above I've said that twice already. How do you know SM started this exchange? Who knows what was said first? I can make up all kinds of scenarios but chances are none of them will be right.

1.

SM: "I want a baby and I don't care what you think you little brat!"

SD: "But I don't want anyone to take my daddy's love from me"

SM: "ha ha you'd better watch out, or my insanely bratty nephew who drools will come to live with us"

SD: "you're so mean, if you do that I'll run away!"

OR....

2.

SD: "I don't want a baby sister/brother"
SM: "you think that's bad, we should invite nephew to live with us"

OR OR OR OR... It's silly to assume... right?

I don't think her DH should cave and have a baby if he doesn't want one. I don't think OP should give up her dream to have a baby just because he doesn't want one. This is far more intricate than the armchair psychology we offer here on this thread, and they'll have to figure that out on their own. It's a horrible situation, he married her thinking that more children would never come up and she married him thinking she couldn't have any. And now?

Last night my DD was eating dinner and I was puttering in the kitchen. She saw the tickets to the Ballet and asked me how much I paid for them. I told her that I paid X for hers and XX for mine... and she thought that was strange. I said "me too, since you take up even more of the seat than I do with your big feet and your big ears" and she looked over at DH out of the corner of her eyes and said "I don't think so, with your big ears".

LOL. Good one DD! I think it's important to recognize teasing and playful ribbing and that which is mean and hurtful. Of course, if she truly had big ears that she was self conscious about I wouldn't have picked that body part. And I made it absurd on purpose, I didn't say "big butt" or anything like that, that could possibly translate into a "fat" issue.

I think kids are way too "special" these days. My generation was the first generation of "special/unique/smart" kids who were told how wonderful they were and it's just continued since. Entitled kids... I get really tired of seeing them. Kids need to fall down and pick themselves up. They need to know they are not the center of the universe.


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RE: Teasing

This is what the OP said

"I'm only 28, and my husband is 38 and enjoys the freedom he has now that his daughter is older. He absolutely doesn't want another child. His daughter always says she loves being an only child, and even when joking about bringing my nephew to live with us, she says she'll move out. "

It is DAD who is saying he doesnt want another baby. It is SM who says WHEN she jokes about bringing nephew, SD says she will move out.

Why you keep making excuses for this SM, who also uses "teacher" as part of her handle is beyond me. You choose to ignore what she posted. Yes it is a bad situation. But the child did not make it. But you keep making excuses for SM to take it out on her. I hope to god the dad gets a vasectomy.


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RE: Excuses

How am I making excuses? I wasn't there!! I have no clue what went on. Why are you even dragging this into this thread anyway? I was starting a thread on teasing so that the segue would not infect her thread, so you came over here to do the exact thing I was trying to avoid. LOL.

I don't blame dad for liking his freedom now that his daughter is older. That's one of the reasons I don't want more kids either. Sounds reasonable. But so does a woman who previously could not have kids but now suddenly may be able to do so wanting that chance. It's a bad situation all around, and no, the kid didn't cause it.

Back to teasing....


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RE: Teasing

Silversword, you forgot a possible scenario.

SD: I love being an only child! (I really do not at all, but I have big ears and I've overheard that my SM can't have any kids - so I'm going to pretend that that is what I want too so I don't make her feel sad.)

....

I mean, if we're writing a whole back-story from one sentence I think this one will be my submission.


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RE: Teasing

Ha, it's amazing how one little sentence can result in so many different interpretations, depending on one's prejudices! Got to love the "torture" accusation. This just in! "Waterboarding abandoned at Guantanamo; prisoners will now be tied to a chair and told that they are giong to have a new half-sibling."

All kinds of studies support family in-joking as a bonding event. It is universal in human culture and is actually a very complex, powerful statement of affection and devotion. But it's definitely an individual thing, and the teaser needs to be sensitive to the reaction of the teasee. Some people are very literal minded, not so capable of handling a multi-layered communication. And, of course, some people tease meanly--though communication studies show that they are sometimes suprised that it is interpreted that way. At its best, this kind of joking contains at its core a statement that "We see your flaws and we love you anyway and we even have affection for your flaws because they are part of who you are."


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RE: Teasing

"And, of course, some people tease meanly--though communication studies show that they are sometimes suprised that it is interpreted that way. At its best, this kind of joking contains at its core a statement that "We see your flaws and we love you anyway and we even have affection for your flaws because they are part of who you are." "

I think these are helpful statements. I think it was Sylvia who put it, if you are at all unsure, don't tease -- because as you note, some people will not interpret teasing as in fun. It's pretty hard to me to regard the SD in question as loved by the SM, as SM blames her for her DH not wanting any more kids (even thought it is Dads decision).

And the people here who vent on the ME generation -- to me it looks like the SM is more of the ME generation. Yes it must be dissappointing not to have kids -- but to take it out on 10 YO?


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RE: Teasing

I didn't even think of that one Mattie! Entirely within the realm of possibility. Another thing that just struck me. My DD kept saying she didn't want any more siblings. Finally I asked her to elaborate and she said, 'well, we'll have to get a crib and diapers and all the stuff and how would we do that?'. LOL. I told her that buying the stuff was the easy part. The hard part was the crying and the baby ruining her stuff and having to split mom's time and energy. I told her I liked what we had going, and she agreed. I tell her if she wants a little sibling she's going to have to be the one to get up with it in the middle of the night and change its diapers.

My point is that kid's perceptions of why having another baby would be bad are often based on very strange reasons. I always thought DD didn't want another baby because she wanted to be the special one. Turns out she was overwhelmed with the shopping!

Ulrike, I laughed out loud at your comment This just in! "Waterboarding abandoned at Guantanamo; prisoners will now be tied to a chair and told that they are giong to have a new half-sibling.".... brought to you by The Onion, leader in farcical news!

This is so true:
At its best, this kind of joking contains at its core a statement that "We see your flaws and we love you anyway and we even have affection for your flaws because they are part of who you are."


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Do you really think the SM loves SD

Please explain to me how you think a SM who wants kids of her own and regards, erroneously, as the stepchild as in the way of her own kids, could possibly love the SD.


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RE: Just the facts, Ma'am

Please explain to me what facts you're basing your opinion on because I don't agree that's what's going on at all.


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Which fact do you not agree with???

What fact do you not agree with?

Original Post -- "Having a child when stepchild is involved"

Do you not think that the OP regards the SD as an impediment to her having a kid? Even though she says her DH wants his freedom?

My question is given SM regards the stepchild as part of the problem as to whether DH agrees to have another kid, do you really think SM loves her? And if not, how can the teasing be goodnatured?


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RE: Teasing

Um, SS is an "impediment" to us having another child after this one is born, but I still love him.

We live in a 900sf, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment condo. It's going to be tight with one full-time baby and one part-time tween. There's no way we can live here and have a full-time baby, a full-time toddler and a part-time teen.
If SS wasn't part of our family, then we could have another baby if we wanted to. But he is, so we can't, and that's fine. If we REALLY want another in a few years, we'll get better jobs and buy a bigger house...

(Though if you want to think of it that way, the baby I'll be having soon is an impediment to us having another... Its existence precludes having other children just as much as SS's does.)

Also, I know it's a bit different because we are having one joint child, but not a second. Maybe it would be more of an issue for me if SS was a reason to not have ANY babies at all.


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ceph

Ceph,

Have you ever complained that SS was an impedement to having another child? Here or anyother place? I doubt it.

But in the OP sitch, she did complain, that to me makes it less than likely that she loves the kid.

Not to be able to have kids with your partner when you want to is, to me, a big deal.


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RE: Teasing

OP on the other post:
"This is already causing problems for us, and I end up resenting the relationship they have because it's one that I will never fully understand."

That's the only negative thing she says about her SD, that she resents the relationship SD and DH have because she doesn't understand (and, now feels she may never get the opportunity to understand).

I guess I just don't see logic in your questioning KKNY. For me it's not one or the other. And your questions aren't facts :) but I'll do my best to answer them.

1. "Do you not think that the OP regards the SD as an impediment to her having a kid?"

I do think that she does regard SD as an impediment to her having a child. I would also go so far as to say that the fact that DH is 38 (to her 28) may be playing a part in this situation as well. Perhaps if her DH were 28 or 30 he may not be thinking 'wow, if I have another kid now I'll be nearly 60 when they are graduating from high school and then I'll never have a life' (if that's what he's actually thinking).

But I'll go a bit further. My DD and SD are impediments to us having more kids. If we didn't already have two we'd probably have one together. And sometimes I wish SD weren't born, I admit it. She's difficult, dealing with her mom is difficult, we never get to see her and she costs a lot of money. But I still love her. I can't help it, the kid's a pretty great kid :) I've also wished I didn't have a kid with my exhusband... not that I'd give DD back, but shucks, it sure would be *easier*.

2. "...given SM regards the stepchild as part of the problem as to whether DH agrees to have another kid, do you really think SM loves her?"

I have no idea if she loves the kid or not. I doubt she hates her, because then she'd be blatantly blaming the kid and making it all out to be the kid's issue rather than just making a rather mild comment about SD's input on the situation.

3. "And if not, how can the teasing be goodnatured?"

Are you asking if she doesn't love her, how can she good-naturedly tease SD? Well, gosh. Aside from the rampant assumptions it is possible to tease someone in a non-aggressive way without loving them.

I don't know if it was friendly or not. And if it were not friendly, it would be mean. And if it were mean, we can slap her with the "bad sm" sticker and be done with her.

But it doesn't help this poor woman with her decision. And extrapolating on two sentences for which none of us were present is borderline ridiculous.


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RE: Teasing

"Not to be able to have kids with your partner when you want to is, to me, a big deal."

Huh, DH (and SS) really want us to look into the possibility of adopting a child somewhere near SS' age, but DH and I agree that in view of the current situation, and the possibility of upcoming exorbitant legal fees, that it is not a good idea right now. So I guess SS is an impediment to DH having/adopting a child with me. I guess that means that DH doesn't love him. Who knew? He certainly had me convinced!


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RE: What's love got to do with it?

So wait, if you complain it means you don't like/love your kid?????

Last night I was talking to a friend from high school on the phone. He was saying what a good mother I was. I laughed and said, oh, honey, if you could have only seen me today. We walked to the corner store, she biked, I walked, and she kept falling over and I was laughing at her.

Sounds cruel, right? Well, it probably was. But she has this horrible habit of freaking out while riding and every time something goes wrong she blames her bike. Being sweet and coddling mommy doesn't work. So I laugh and tell her to pick herself back up. She stomps and pouts and gets ANGRY and then we move on.

My point is, anyone just walking by the situation would not think I was a good parent, and they would probably come to the conclusion that I hate my dd. Which, at that point, was pretty much the emotion I was feeling.(as an aside I am much more patient with my SD than with my DD, and DH is the opposite. I am constantly defending SD to DH, lol).

Not being able to go back to school and get a higher education is a big deal too. Not being able to buy a bigger house or travel is a big deal. Having kids is not all important to everyone. To some there are higher priorities. ANYTHING that impairs a person's living their life is a big deal.

Hahaha but that's why we're adults, right? To find a work-around or do without.

Ceph would rather have a baby than spend that money on a bigger place. Priorities. I would rather have my "freedom" than have another kid. Who is to say who is right? The difference is that I would be compassionate to a person who really wanted a child and suddenly was given that gift. And that, I think, is the root of this issue. If DH doesn't love OP enough to have a child with her, and this is a burning desire... they will never last because she will always see him as the person keeping her from her dream and he will always see her as the person forcing him to do something he doesn't want to do.


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RE: Teasing

No, I don't complain about it, but, to be totally honest, it does bother me a bit sometimes.

I felt a little bummed that I didn't have the luxury of decorating a whole nursery for my baby. But I enjoyed redoing SS's side of the room too. I think the shared space turned our great and will have some handy benefits, like that I can sleep in the twin bed in the kids' room if baby is being fussy.
(Just to clarify: when SS is at our place, baby will sleep in our room. We wouldn't make him put up with a noisy, grunty, thrashy baby all night!!)

It kind of bothers be that our baby will essentially be an only child (unless we get way better jobs and put all our money into a bigger home). But since I don't even know if I WANT a second child of my own, it's not like I resent this. Also, our baby will have 8 first cousins from my side; 5 of them are currently 4 or under... So it's not like it'll be growing up totally isolated from children its age.

I sometimes get frustrated when DH says "BM did yaddayadda with SS when he was a baby," and it's something that I don't plan to do. I want to smack him with the lamp and point out that I'm not her, I'm not 18, this baby was planned and wanted, and we won't be making very many of the same parenting choices she made. I bite my tongue on that part though, and just say something positive like "Well, every baby/mother combo is different."
But I like some of his stories about funny stuff SS did when he was young and it's nice to know that he has experience with babies - even though we'll be doing a lot of things differently.

So, yeah, sometimes I have mixed feelings about how SS influences our biological family planning... But I certainly don't resent him or DH's past because of that. I wouldn't change the structure of our life with SS (he's too important to us) so that we could have more babies.
It's not all rainbows and bunnies, but I'm happy with how things are! I guess that's what it all comes down to - nothing in life is ever 100% perfect or easy, but if you're happy with the situation, then it's right for you.


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RE: shoulda woulda coulda

"I sometimes get frustrated when DH says "BM did yaddayadda with SS when he was a baby," and it's something that I don't plan to do."

LOL Ceph. My DH would constantly say SD watched Baby Einstein yadda yadda as if I should have done it with DD. You can imagine my satisfaction when all the studies came out that those videos did bumpkiss for raising intelligence!!!


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RE: Teasing

KKNY said: "It's pretty hard to me to regard the SD in question as loved by the SM, as SM blames her for her DH not wanting any more kids (even thought it is Dads decision)."

KKNY, you should probably amend that statement to say it is pretty hard for YOU to regard the SD in question as loved by the SM. Most of the posters here who are stepmothers and have a lot of experience with stepkids can probably imagine with ease that the SM in question could love her SD very much, and yet still grieve another child that will never exist.

I don't even like the word "teasing," because it implies unkindness, whereas family in-joking is the opposite. It honors the child. And when it comes from the child, it is an expression that the child feels safe with the stepparent and that they enjoy one another's company.

I remember a family vacation when DH and I had just married. We went to the location where DH and BM spent their honeymoon. BM had mentioned this repeatedly to my SDs in the days leading up to the trip, and filled them in on details about what she and my DH had done and seen. My older SD was providing an entire travelog of her parents' honeymoon during our trip. Now DH and I didn't want to give SD the idea that it wasn't safe to talk about her mom, but the commentary was weirding out my own kids a little bit--SD was rather obsessive, because she was at that point still processing being in this new family. YSD saved the day for us by turning to her sister and saying in a fake dramatic tone, "If it wasn't for Chapultepec Castle, we would never have been born!"

That became a running joke for the rest of the trip and I think it opened up a frank dialogue about blended family issues way earlier than might otherwise have happened. Our kids quickly started "teasing" each other about being stepsibs, Cinderella, etc. I think they fell in love on that trip, and part of it was bonding over those jokes.


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RE: Teasing

I think sometimes women can be more verbal than men, and dad's kids can end up taking it on the chin. I dont see much concern for the feelings of stepkids.


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RE: Teasing

anybody remember the Golden Rule?

Before you open your mouth & say or do something, imagine yourself on the receiving end.

Would you find it funny?

Here's something from another forum:
how would *you* like to be this person's child or guest?

"I was the Mom who laughed when the kids fell down, or bumped their heads...
but if they thought it was funny and not serious, they didn't cry or panic.
They got up, smiled and giggled, and continued playing.
No sense making a mountain out of a molehill.

We were the parents who played pranks on our kids, or purposely put them in embarrassing situations.
We used to tell them that's why we had kids...
so we could laugh!

The motto at our house for all visitors was...
don't fall asleep before we do!
You never knew what we would do while you were sleeping... indelibly mark your face, shave off your eyebrows, put a little skunk squeezin's in your sleeping bag...
if you were a guy, you might wake up in full makeup and nail polish...
hilarity and practical jokes were just part of growing up in our household!
There was never a dull moment!

Twisted?
You bet!
Laughter is truly the best medicine!"


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RE: Teasing

That's good, you're sticking up for the stepkids. As a stepkid I appreciate the sentiment. My dad's two almost-wives and one second wife have sure made my life double toothpicks with an h at times. Mostly it was my dad's fault for not monitoring the situation better, not to say that they weren't dogs of the female persuasion at times ;)

You said women can be more vocal. That's true. But because of their more commonly exuberant display of emotion that means they're also more likely to give hugs and affection than men. I know that it's hard for my DH to be really physical and verbally praise-full for both of our daughters.

I'm the one SD chooses to snuggle with. And I grab her and give her gentle noogies and squeezes and yes, pretend to trip her and then say "I saved you!". I play more. I notice that with SM's...

My dad teases me, and I tease him right back. The other day he went to a conference, and there were these two young people there who he said kind of "adopted" him as their dad. And he was telling me how cool his "kids" were and how much they looked up to him, unlike me. And I made some snarky comments about how if they only knew the "true" him they wouldn't have been so inclined to worship him, and he was free to give them my number. He then said his "other" kids would never be this hostile and I said "that's how you can tell they aren't yours!".

We were both rolling with laughter by the time the conversation was over.

I have to admit, I didn't want my dad to have more kids. And I was over 20 when he was thinking about it. Sometimes I think it might be cool now... 10 years later, lol, but I still don't want to share.

And once I became a parent I realized it would have been none of my business.


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RE: Teasing

Theres a good teasing thread on the parenting forum

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/parents/msg0621042220271.html?18

consensus is against it -- of course they aren't busy trying to defend SMs at all costs.

a lot of threads on estranged kids also. hmmm.


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RE: Teasing

Have to agree with KKNY and Sylvia..If my DS had a SM and he came home and told me we re eating cat feces sandwiches and she is taking me at the city dump,even as a joke, I d be on the phone with my attorney..And if it ever made it to the court room, I d love to see if the judge and a court room full of spectators would find it '' Hilarious "....... Just cringe worthy, really........I would not talk to my SS s ,my DS, or any other child in that manner...Such lack of judgement...Just an covertly hostile act, IMO...in the name of "teasing"


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RE: Teasing

""Waterboarding abandoned at Guantanamo; prisoners will now be tied to a chair and told that they are giong to have a new half-sibling."

HAAAAAAA. I laughed out loud at this!

SS has many sisters---a stepsister from his stepfather, and two baby half-sisters. (who, really, are just his SISTERS---he does not differentiate.) And then he has MY DD, his other stepsis.

We joke with him ALL the time about how we're going to have girl triplets over here. And he goes "Noooooo.....too many girls! AUUGHHHH. I need a brother!" But it's all in fun and he's laughing the whole time.

Let's see...the other day I was in the car with the kiddos and a Taylor Swift song came on, and DD and I started belting out the lyrics. And SS covered his ears and said "too girly! AUUUGHHHH!" and we sang louder. And ALL THREE OF US were dying laughing!

Dh frequently willl joke with the kids that we're serving brussels sprouts and onions for dinner. MMMMMMM. They freak and laugh b/c they know he's TEASING.

It's all in good fun.

Bottom line--we don't know the relationship with SM/SD, and IMO there is no reason to believe the remakr about the nephew was mean spirited at all!


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RE: Teasing

Hmm, Dotz... Since these were jokes between DH and SS long before I came to the picture, I don't think it's a covert act of hostility from ME that WE continue these jokes. SS doesn't think so either.
Teasing is part of our family. DH and I tease each other, we tease SS, he teases us. It's good-spirited and if someone's feelings do happen to get hurt (very rare), there's always an apology to follow.

Here are four examples of how SS teases us, none of them are covert acts of hostility.

SS teases me that I like to eat bowls of boogers (I love guacamole, but he doesn't think it looks very appealing, LOL).

SS teases DH about their favourite hockey team. It's SS's favourite hockey team too, but he likes to joke that DH has spent 30 years cheering for a team that always loses, but he's only spent 10.

SS teases me about that I don't eat meat. He knows it's perfectly healthy to be vegetarian and he likes how I cook, but he likes to joke that something is missing from his plate. Sometimes, at this point, DH will pipe up "Oh, I'll run to the litterbox and grab some cat poop to make you a sandwich." SS laughs his butt off.

SS teases DH that he's going to steal all his gold in the computer game they play.


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Totally a matter of context

Even the cat poop sandwich, which out of context would sound abusive (ha!!) could be very funny and even liberating to a kid. Kids find toilet humor to be a bit daring, so a parent making a joke like that delivers a message to the kid that "you are grown up enough for me to say this in front of." Assuming they are both in on the joke and they both share a solid sense of respect.

Again, KKNY and others might be reacting to the negative aspects of the word "teasing." In my family, we each have about 10 attributes that others will gleefully joke about, and it is not malicious. Granted, this type of intimacy like any can go wrong, but if kids feel free to say "Ouch, that hurt my feelings," the apology that follows can be even more bonding and supporting. YSD and I had a joke about this guy she had a big crush on and I would pretend to be crushing on him too. Unbeknownst to me, she asked him to a dance and he turned her down--so next time I said "How's our boyfriend Terry?" she almost cried. I hugged her and told her I was sorry I made light of it and then she told me the gory details about the girl he did go with. Later on we could pretend to be co-hating that girl.

A lot of misunderstanding comes from different families having different senses of humor. Our family loves very dark comedies and black humor, stuff that a lot of people would be appalled at. Except my DD, who is a little more sensitive; she has never liked the black knight scene in Monty Python. We wouldn't joke with her about horrible injuries, ha! But the other ones always make guillotine jokes. DD doesn't share our dark humor, and one of the ways she expresses that is to tease us about it. We respect her feelings by not watching something like that when she's around--but we might jokingly say "OK, DD, gruesome movie alert."


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Why so different on parenting thread

Why do you think the parenting thread on teasing is so anti? vs. this thread?


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RE: Teasing

Wellllll.... I was driving today and was thinking this whole thing over, and I realized I might think teasing was ok but DD might have a different take on the whole thing. So I asked her. DD, what do you think about teasing? She said she didn't like it, that it was mean. So I said, would you like it if I don't tease you anymore? and she said, no mom, that's different. And I asked why, and she said...

Because that's funny teasing, and we are all laughing. Teasing is different when it's someone you love. Mean teasing is when someone is teasing and someone else is crying.

Wow.


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RE: Teasing Thread on Parenting Forum

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RE: What's the difference?

Here's what the OP said on the other thread:

"just wondering what any of you parents out there think of your spouse's teasing the children. I have 2 girls and it seems my spouse just can't get enough of teasing them. It can be mild or it can go totally overboard, until they stomp away or cry. Then, I get mad at him for teasing, and he gets all defensive. I feel that this is a controlling behavior, and it's a way of bullying the girls -- they obviously don't enjoy it!"

The difference is I never tease until someone is even close to tears. I have never had anyone ask me to not tease them, and if they did I would stop immediately.

When someone says "no", continuing to do so is a form of abuse.

Other words on that thread are:

relentless, bullying, merciless, "I cry and he tells me off" (the raw turkey neck story is not teasing, that's emotional abuse), laughing (at someone else's expense)

When I tease and laugh, I put a twinkle in my eye. I smile, and I tease. And I have never, ever, had someone misunderstand and not realize that I'm playing with them.


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RE: Teasing

Would you regard a child threatening to run away as objecting? Or manipulative?


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Apples and Oranges!

Oh my goodness, that post from the other board is a COMPLETELY different thing! That's why I think the term "teasing" isn't quite the right term for what we are talking about here. Sounds like that dude is quite abusive. That has absolutely nothing to do with what we have been talking about--affectionate joking, mutually enjoyed, versus bullying.

And about a child threatening to run away...that can also be taken and said so many different ways. My son used to always threaten to run away, especially when it was something he knew was actually good for him. He wouldn't actually run away, it was just his dramatic way of expressing that he wished he didn't have to go to the dentist or wear a tie to a wedding. Then it became a joke in the whole family. If I served brussels sprouts, DD and SDs would say, "Uh-oh, DS is going to run away now" and he would pretend to be holding one of those hobo stick things.


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RE: Teasing

"Would you regard a child threatening to run away as objecting? Or manipulative?"

Depends. Probably a bit of both. In the case of "if you have a baby, if you bring another kid to live here, I will run away" I think it's an objection, and a manipulation. Basically, it's saying if you don't do what I want, I'll leave.

If the nephew for some odd reason needed to come live with them I think it would behove them to explain to their daughter the reasons and that this is what we do for family.

If the SM is joking, and the little girl is in tears, upset, freaking out, and the SM is laughing and saying "jeez, can't you take a joke, lighten up!" I would not agree with her methods.

If SM is joking and saying the same thing and little girl is stomping her little foot and pouting her little lip and saying "if you do that, I'll just move out so there!" it's an entirely different situation.

From the "tone" of the SM in the other post, I personally am inclined to believe it's the latter.

Think about how many people come on this forum and really come down on their skids, calling them names, blaming them outright, etc. I just didn't get the same feeling from this SM.

But you did. And that's your right. I could be wrong.

An example. My dd doesn't break down in tears missing her dad unless she is not getting her way. Then, sometimes, she inexplicably starts to cry and says that she misses him. The first couple of times I fell for it (I'm sure she does miss her dad). But then I got a little niggling feeling, and instead of caving, I just sat down and said "I miss my dad too". And the CLICK was almost tangible. She looked up at me, and I could see her readjusting because she saw that her little poutfest wasn't going to work.

I told her dad about it, and he laughed, and said she did the same thing there. When she wasn't getting her way, all of a sudden she missed mommy and wanted mommy. Ok. He misses his mommy too. And it's still time to brush your teeth.

Manipulation isn't inherently bad. It's how kids survive. But allowing a child to run the household isn't healthy. I don't know how to clearly say what I'm intending, but I got the feeling that this little girl has had daddy around her finger and doesn't want to let go. He's guilty, and she's taking him for a ride. He needs to be the parent. He's the one to decide if a sibling enters the picture. And SM is the one who will decide if that's acceptable to her, or if she's willing to leave her marriage in order to have the child she wants.

I was that little girl once. This isn't my first rodeo.


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RE: Teasing

Like I said, I hope dad is there for his daughter. Becauss I dont think the SM cares.

If SM teases, its all in fun.

If SD replies, she may just be manipulative.

Hope dad gets a vasectomy


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Joking AND being mean

also, if you go back you will see that SM did not state any need or intent that her nephew would could there, just that she was "joking"


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RE: Teasing

"Why do you think the parenting thread on teasing is so anti? vs. this thread?"

There were about 17 posters over a 6 year period on that thread & two actual 'OPs' describing "abusive" teasing. That's not hardly the same as the type of discussion taking place here. That's comparing apples to pears.


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RE: Teasing

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

I was prepared to stop it all together and admit I was wrong if indeed my DD wasn't happy with it.

Sylvia practically said my DD would grow up hating me and withholding grandchildren if I continued to tease.

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.


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RE: Teasing

"If SM teases, its all in fun.
If SD replies, she may just be manipulative.
Hope dad gets a vasectomy"

Awww, now, you're just a'teasin'...
aren't you???

I think it's unreasonable to ask a child if your behavior bothers him/her & expect that the answer is free from the desire to please.

When the police interview women & children after the neighbors call to report screams & thumps, the women & children almost always say no, there's no problem, he didn't hurt me, everything's fine.

*Finally* things have advanced to the point that the police are trained to not take such answers at fact value but to look for other clues.

"Teasing" is passive-aggressive, much like tickling & practical joking;
the person doing it enjoys it & than the person who's having it done to him/her does not.

Even if your child is going through his bathroom-humor-stage & really does think that boogers & cat crap sandwiches are hilarious, his teachers might not, other children might not, other children's parents almost certainly will not, & I very much doubt that the boogers/cat doodie/etc are as funny when it's suggested that the child will have to eat them.

Similarly to what dotz said, if I or my ex had heard of his children's mother or her boyfriend or husband talking to the kids like that (or if the ex had heard me talking like that) the cat crap sandwich would have hit the fan.


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RE: Teasing

No, I think men who do not want kids have equal responsiblity for birth control. And if they have reached a final decision, that is the answer (vasectomy), and especially if they suspect they can rely on any sexual partner taking precautions.


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Communication styles

KKNY and Sylvia, it sounds like for both of you, your preferred communication style does not include nuanced, ironic constructions. And that's fine, the degree of straightforward vs. layered flavor is an individual thing. But you two are judging something you don't understand when you condemn good-natured family joking. It can be a profound bonding behavior all around.


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RE: Teasing

Nope.

I'm not condemning something I don't understand;
I understand it very well, thank you.

If all the grown-ups in the world want to indulge in "nuanced, ironic constructions" (are you sure cat crap falls into that category?), that's one thing, but to dish it up to any child, particularly in a potentially loaded situation such as a blended or step-family, is *not* cute or clever or decent.


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RE: Teasing

All I can say is thank goodness we were a joking, good natured teasing family that I grew up in. We weren't mean spirited but constantly joked with each other, and now we are all perfectly fine, well rounded adults with good sense of humor. There is a huge difference in good natured teasing, and mean spirited teasing. Teasing about something that makes someone cry is mean. This isn't what we're talking about.

My mom was definitely the cat poop sandwich type of mom, and I was told often as a child that I was adopted from aliens because I couldn't possibly be their child, haha. I never got my feelings hurt...I never thought my mom would ACTUALLY make me eat poop, and I knew I wasn't adopted from aliens. Once my mom and her friend picked me up from jr. high in the mini-van with all the little kids in the car blasting country music as loud as possible (which was NOT "cool" where I came from). Was I embarrassed, yeah a little, that was the point...was I mad? of course not, it was hilarious, even at the time I could see that.

And if we threatened to run away my parents always said, "don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out". We never ran away.

I guess nobody will ever agree on this topic because we all have different senses of humor and find different things funny...but nobody would ever accuse anyone in my family of not having healthy senses of humor.


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RE: Teasing

I personally have very close relationship with DD, we are constantly joking with each other and we always had good relationship. But I never treated her as an easy target of sarcasm or making fun of her or trick her into anything (if i ever did i admitted my mistake and still feel guilty).

Children are very easy targets of such behavior. I think it is taking advantage of them, they can't always reply with the same pranks due to age difference.

Some adults think they are having fun, then years later people are surprised that their children grow up and are estranged from them.

Or they are surprised their children have emotional issues, are not maturing, wet their beds until almost adulthood, have trouble in school etc Kids might be laughing with you at your pranks but you don't know what they feel inside.

I also do not understand how same parents are into rules and consequences but then make fun of the kids? What kind of treatment is that?

Such hot and cold treatment is borderline emotional abuse.


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RE: Teasing

Sylvia, your response confirms that you don't understand--or perhaps you have never experienced?--warmhearted family joking. You say irony is only for children; again, perhaps you know no children who enjoy complex, multilayered communication? Not all do. But for children who love to communicate like that, for whom it is their style, there is nothing more exquisite than the pleasure of irony. My kids started it when they were very, very litte. After my DD was potty trained, she would come into the room, make a sorrowful face and say, "I had a accident." Then when I would turn around she would say, "No, I dry!" Just tickled that she had "fooled" me. And then I would say, "Oh dear, guess we better change your pants!" and pretend I didn't get the joke, which would crack her up all the more. She would also claim her older brother "had a accident," and I would pretend to chide him. Was she abusive? Hard for me to think so. Was it "borderline abuse" that I pretended to believe her claim?

I get what you're saying, that there is an unkind type of teasing. I had a great-uncle whose jests were mean-spirited and unwelcome by my family. We realized later on that he just wasn't good at doing what everyone else in the family did. It didn't come naturally to him, and so he mistakenly teased people about things that would be hurtful, rather than in a fun, accepting way. The kind of teasing that gives it a bad name!


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RE: Teasing

"And if we threatened to run away my parents always said, "don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out". We never ran away."

lol, I remember my parents telling me they were going to send me to a foster home because I said I didn't like their rules. Or if I threatened to run away, they'd ask me if I need a ride and which way I'm going? Besides joking/teasing, they were also letting me know they were not going to allow me to manipulate with idle threats.

My kids would tell me "yes, mommy dearest!" when they thought I was being strict or too rigid.... "NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!" (lol, I would buy only plastic ones)


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RE: Teasing

"I think it's unreasonable to ask a child if your behavior bothers him/her & expect that the answer is free from the desire to please."

Really? I don't think so. I am very honest with my daughter and I think it's very reasonable to ask if something bothers her or if things are ok. I actually think it's critical for children to answer questions without fear of not pleasing mommy by giving the 'wrong' answer. If not, there is a huge potential for abusive situations.

"Teasing" is passive-aggressive, much like tickling & practical joking; the person doing it enjoys it & than the person who's having it done to him/her does not.

That may be your experience, but as my eight year old said, the difference to her is 'good teasing' is when both people are laughing. 'Bad teasing' is when the person teasing is laughing and the other person is crying.

Tickling can be abusive, sure. My dd asks me to tickle her though... is that abusive? I enjoy her laughing, but I don't ever do it so much she's upset or not asking for more. That's not fun for me. I really just want to have fun WITH her, not at her expense, not if she's not having a good time too. I think it was very reasonable for me to ask how my daughter felt about teasing, and then say that I don't want to hurt her and if teasing isn't fun for her I will stop. That kind of open dialogue is critical. And it's the kind of relationship we have.

"...easy target of sarcasm or making fun of her or trick her into anything... I also do not understand how same parents are into rules and consequences but then make fun of the kids? What kind of treatment is that? Such hot and cold treatment is borderline emotional abuse."

WAIT... Make fun? Who is saying making fun of someone is ok? I don't make fun of my child. Rules and consequences are a part of life. Tell me you don't follow rules or accept the consequences if you break rules.... Do you drive a car?

"Trick" indicates disappointment or coersion or manipulating someone to do something they wouldn't do otherwise. Like giving someone a cookie and then laughing once they took a bite because it was the one that dropped on the floor. That's not funny to me because who wants to eat nasty cookies? The person who ate it wouldn't be laughing, they'd be embarassed or angry or hurt. And I wouldn't be laughing, because that wouldn't be fun. But I might tell DD that she might not want to eat any of those cookies because I licked them all first... because I wanted to have them all to myself! It's the absurdity that makes it funny.

When I joke or tease my motivation is to get DD to laugh or to be silly with her. Like the dog will be sitting by us and will lick me, and I'll say, Wow DD, that sure was a wet kiss you just gave me... what a loooonnng tongue you have, and EWWWWW stinky breath too! and she'll giggle and say moooommmm... it wasn't me, it was doggie! And then I'll say WHEW, thank goodness, I was afraid we needed to make an emergency trip to the dentist!

KKNY, I completely agree with you. If dad really doesn't want more kids, he should get a vasectomy.


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RE: Teasing

How to Poke Fun

Teasing can actually bring couples closer. Poking fun is in fact an indispensable social tool, vital to all healthy relationships.
By Hara Estroff Marano, published on November 01, 1999 - last reviewed on September 21, 2006

From the outside, teasing seems to be a twisted pleasure: affectionate and sort of insulting all at once. But Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner, Ph.D, declares that poking fun is in fact an indispensable social tool, vital to all healthy relationships.

"Teasing is a way, when done appropriately, for people to correct others' costly mistakes," says Keltner, who published his findings in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "It helps bring people closer."

Yet according to Keltner, who's been studying the tease for over a decade, it is one of the most misunderstood of social behaviors. Anglo-Americans have a particularly negative view of affectionate tormenting, focusing almost exclusively on its darker side: bullying, victimization and sexual harassment. Anglo-Saxon culture can be inhibited, and teasing is a disinhibited behavior, Keltner explains.

By contrast, in Mediterranean, African and Central American societies, which are much less restrained, teasing is just part of the drama played out in everyday social life.

Indeed, teasing occupies a fine and fleeting line between aggression and play. The aggressive aspect of it consists of criticism that threatens a person's "face," or desired social identity. But since the driving force behind teasing is a yearning to maintain harmonious social relationships, teasers engage in redressive action�they deploy humorous or playful tactics signaling that the criticism should not be taken as a condemnation. Exaggerated tone of voice, elongated vowels, unusual facial expressions, a little laugh just before or after the tease�a range of more or less subtle "paralinguistic" markers remind the teasee that they are loved despite the flaw�and maybe even more for it.

Teasing teaches us the elements of communication. It is fundamentally ambiguous, so it forces us to pay attention to all aspects of an interaction in order to decipher its meaning. Whether a tease lands as intended depends in part on the relationship between the teaser and teasee. When the powerful pick on the the weaker, the power differential obscures all the play in teasing. Similarly, when cold and unfriendly people tease anyone at all, their actions generate more anxiety, pain and embarrassment than amusement. The intention of the tease is called into question, and the game loses its balance�it becomes far more fun for the teaser than teasee. Still, whether teasing is done between lovers, friends, or parents and children, partners in play invariably wind up liking each other more, Keltner has found.

The more satisfied couples are with their relationship, the more playful their signs and signals: coy smiles, the sticking out of the tongue, laughter, bizarre facial expressions, unusual voice inflection and physical touching wrapped around the aggressive core of the tease. Both partners feel more positive emotion after poking fun, says Keltner. Indeed, what is flirtation but a series of teases?

But men and women may respond differently to this form of play: Women tend to get hurt by the pinch, while their partners become more aroused. "Men always find ambiguous social stimuli more sexually suggestive than women do," explains Keltner. "What's more, teasing has an affiliative component, which men interpret as a sign of sexual interest." It may be that men are just more used to teasing, as they tend to tease more throughout the course of life. At the same time, women seem to have a stronger emotional reaction to potentially hostile stimuli.

Nonetheless, the sexes cling to the same themes as they taunt, with women focusing on personal habits and sexual issues especially their partner's sexual readiness and excessive desire and men on their partner's physical characteristics.

Despite its potential for misuse, poking fun in fact oxygenates social life. As it is strategically ambiguous and based on the assumption that individuals are close enough to tease, it gives relationships breathing room especially around potentially troublesome issues while simultaneously deepening the intimacy of the relationship. Teasing's side effect shared laughter brings loved ones even closer.

Teasing allows us to:
�Convey social standards and morals of a group.
�Establish hierarchies and play out power differences; alternately, it can bring people down to our level.
�Form bonds; the act of sharing laughter brings people closer.
�Probe or feel the limits of a relationship or the dimensions of another's character. One can almost always pull back onto safe ground by saying "just teasing."
�Manage conflicting or difficult emotions. For example, according to anthropologists, African-American children developed "sounding"a ritualized and playful form of insult as a tool to cope with hostility often lobbed at them in the larger culture.


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RE: Teasing

kkny said: "a lot of threads on estranged kids also. hmmm. "

what a good point...then years later people wonder why their kids are estranged from them...


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silvers

silvers, that's exactly what you do. You trick your kid into eating foods that you lie to her about, yes it didn't fall on the floor but it wasn't what you said it was. I think ti is the same as feeding cookie that fell on the floor. Yes you do make fun of her because she falls of her bike. Then in your last post you claim these are all wrong things to do (making fun and tricking them), then why are you doing it? Just to have fun? is it good enough reason?

as about rules and consequences, they have to apply to adults as well. I think there are always consequences for treating kids like they are mindless little creatures that make the whole family laugh. And teaches kids very wrong values.


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RE: Teasing

Silver, we can both teasing articles. Note however, that your says teasing can allow people to convey standards, correct mistakes, etc.

Fact that OP gave was that DAD said no more kids. So SM is not trying to use tease to convey standards.

Here is a link to another teasing article, about how it can damage people

http://www.lcisd.org/parents/txcoopext_familylife_teasingbullying.pdf


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RE: Teasing

One of the articles seems to be about couples rather than adults and children. I think there is a big difference between intimate partners teasing each other and adults making fun of their kids. Most of the time children cannot reply with the same pranks. They just don't have the same resources. Just because kids say "it's OK mommy" does not mean it is OK.


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Parent of one

Parent of one,

It is not always clear to me if stepmoms care if kid is estranged. One just reads advice columns where they say oh I took care of this kid like a mom, and now she wont speak to me, not invited to her wedding, dont get to see grandkids.


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RE: Teasing

KKNY, I think you should start a new thread on estranged Steps....I m sure teasing isnt the only reason for estrangements, altho it could be one....DH being estranged from both his kids now, would be interested in the subject....


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RE: Teasing

The parenting board has lots of estranged threads. My only comment is that if a step or a parent "teases" in a way that a child finds upsetting, I would not be suprised at issues later down the road.


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RE: Teasing

kkny it looks like some people don't even care if their own children get hurt, then are surprised when kids are estranged. so i am sure it is the same with stepkids.

dotz I think estrangement was mentioned because it often is unfortunate consequence of mistakes parents make. something what feels like a minor thing for adult is not that minor for a child...and true there are many threads on estrangement. of course it is sometimes not parents' fault yet often it is.


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RE: Teasing

unfortunately some children would do anything to please their parents, they just wouldn't stand up for themselves. it does not mean they are enjoying it.


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RE: Teasing

"You trick your kid into eating foods that you lie to her about"

So you see no difference between feeding someone dirty food or telling them it's something that it's not (and making it silly, which a lot of kids can appreciate?)

I would never give my dd something that was dirty or unsanitary. But I will joke with her about food. The difference between "ha ha, you just drank water from the dog bowl" and "octopus eyeballs" is a nuance I guess is a little too subtle for you. We eat food in my house that is probably considered very gross to many of you but in our culture is delicious. AND, if dd hadn't looked at the mozerella balls cross eyed to begin with, I probably wouldn't have said anything. But I simply can't abide the attitude of people who won't give something a try based on how it looks.

Since she's one of the more adventureous foodies I know and always willing to try something different, (jellyfish salad anyone?) I don't think she's being harmed one bit.

What do you think about Halloween fun houses? Are the grapes and spagetti and jello (the eyeballs, the brains, the belly fat) damaging to our kids too because we are lying to them about reality?

I'm estranged from my mother, and it's not because she teased me. It's because of many other, very deep and personal issues. I was estranged from my father for years, and it's not because he teased me. It's because he would not acknowledge that his wife was toxic toward me and he wouldn't defend me. I really enjoy joking with my dad, and he teases me all the time. It actually horrifies me that you would put the benign teasing we're talking about here on the same level as the woman who received the turkey neck every holiday and is subsequently petrified of the humiliation.


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RE: Teasing

we do eat foods that are considered gross by other cultures as well, but we call it what it is. DD actually eats literally everything and did so since she was a young child, but I never had any need to lie about nature of her meal. Your child appears to be adventurous (although I don't think sushi or mozarella cheese or squid is that adventurous, maybe depends where one lives?) because she does not know what she eats, eats mozarella or raw shrimp or fish egg thinking it is something else, it is not adventurous, it is just using the fact that your child is gullible and trusts her mommy. I don't see any point. I could see tricking a child to take her medicine as it is life and death question but other than that why not be honest?

If you wanted your child to try different foods you could maybe give it different presentation, but why lie? your estrangement from your parents is probably due to them exhibiting inconsiderate behavior towards you, I think tricking your kid falls in the same category, maybe not as severe.


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RE: Teasing

"I could see tricking a child to take her medicine as it is life and death question but other than that why not be honest?"

See, I would disagree with 'tricking' a child to take their medicine. Why shouldn't you tell them the truth about what medications they ingest? Why not tell them they HAVE to take it because it will make them better? Doesn't that teach them to take responsibility for their health? I would tease them about the icky taste.. make the icky faces with them and laugh about it... but we gotta take the medicine so you can get better. If I said "this pill is candy" so they take it, then they might think it's okay to get into the 'candy'... they should know it's medicine, has a purpose and if taken incorrectly, can be dangerous.


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RE: Teasing

" If I said "this pill is candy" so they take it, then they might think it's okay to get into the 'candy'... they should know it's medicine, has a purpose and if taken incorrectly, can be dangerous."

Absolutely.


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RE: Teasing

"Sylvia, your response confirms that you don't understand"

Yes, I do understand.


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RE: Teasing

How in the world did teasing make the leap to lying and trickery? Do y'all really believe our kids would think we would have them eating cat poop or eyeballs? Are you, and your children, that literal that you can't make a joke, and they can't take it? Do you have a relationship that your kids don't tease you for having eyes in the back of your head or something equally as ridiculous? Do you really think our kids -step or otherwise- who know us and understand us really think we will feed them cat poop? You don't think families know how to establish, following the lead of their children, boundaries?

All this abusive bs regarding teasing, when done in the matter each person here has described, is silly. Being able to find the quirky humor in a situation, or fabricate and laugh at absurd ideas or situations, is a life skill.
Bullying or berating another person is something entirely different, and not what this thread was started about.

I bet family dinners at your house are a real blast. I'd much prefer you pass a cat poop sandwich.


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Teasing is Mean

If you can keep up your appetite after someone has offered you a cat poop sandwich, more power to you, but it's still disgustingly rude & mean-spirited to offer it to any diner.


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RE: Teasing

like I said life and death question, they die if they don't take it. no one died from not tasting mozarella. There are foods that i like and other people hate. i see no point in telling them that caviar is blueberry jam or tell vegetarians that piece of chicken is actually soy. what's the purpose, how is it funny?


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jnm

JNM we are not literal at all. I and DD constantly joke around, we have the goofiest relationship, we have inside jokes and goofy names for each other. We like the same movies and books and laugh at same stuff. But i never made fun of her, if i ever did, i apologized. DD was (i think still is)scared of zombies, i know it is stupid, but i think it is evil to tease her about zombies.

JNM cat poop is clearly unrealistic joke, kids wouldn't think you feed them cat poop unless of course they are so immature. I think if a child truly believes they are eating cat poop, there is a serious issue there.

But if a child believes she is fed octopus (which has mild fishy taste) yet when it melts in her mouth she realizes it is cheese it is unkind. and mom laughs at it.

is it funny that kid actually thinks that cheese looks the same as octopus eyes or she thinks that octopus eyes are that big or that white? or is it funny that kid is so gullible and naive? Like why? what's the goal? It is a joke on kid's expense.


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RE: Teasing

Now you are talking about outright lying... joking that a cheeseball is an eyeball is not a lie. I doubt anyone, even a child will really believe you are giving them an actual eyeball to eat... though there are some in my family that eat cow tongue, brains & intestines. Personally, all those sound very disgusting to me but as a kid, I loved pig feet. As an adult, I love Menudo... made with cow tripe ~the lining of the stomach~ I would never lie and say there's no meat in this when giving a dish to a vegetarian... though once I did accidentally use spaghetti sauce w/mushrooms in a lasagna. My husband HATES mushrooms ~he calls it fungus, refusing to use the word mushroom~ but he said it was the best lasagna he's ever had. Only the next day when my son was eating leftovers, did we realize it had mushrooms when he told me I can't believe stepdad at that... my guess is that DH never tried mushrooms but somehow it SOUNDED yucky. He still won't eat them but I tease him about how he ate fungus. He laughs too. It's funny because we can laugh at stuff and not be so uptight that everything is so serious... it's called having a sense of HUMOR.

Some families joke and laugh more than others.... so this is an argument nobody will win.


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RE: Teasing

people do eat eyes, salmon eye is a delicacy for Inuit for example.

well i would think most children wouldn't believe that they are fed octopus eye, but silverswood's child believed it for whatever reason. that's why it is cruel to laugh at her when she realizes it is cheese only after she tried it. if she is easy to be tricked, it is mean to laugh at her.

of course we joke about food, but we respect each others right to eat or not eat certain foods and we don't trick anyone into eating anything unless it happens accidentally.


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RE: Teasing

Making food into a cruel joke could give a person an eating disorder.

but how *funny* that would be!

think of the laughs you can have about your child or your partner's child gagging, throwing up, losing weight, going to therapy!

Therapy!

Now there's a whole new comedic subject!


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RE: Teasing

Wow. I didn't laugh at her after she tasted it. She laughed. And I laughed. "no one died from not tasting mozerella." indeed.

I would never lie about medicine. If it's a choice of life or death I wouldn't take the time to be trying to convince a child it was yummy or magic flying juice. I'd convey to her the importance.

Fish eye soup is great. Octopus eyeballs are actually pretty good as well.

I would never lie to a vegeterian about meat being in a dish. Why would someone try to do something that is absolutely against their dietary specifications? That would be cruel.

Sylvia, your definition of "cruel" is so far removed from mine, I don't even think it's worth discussing. My DD loves food, she loves joking about food.

PO1, to tease your DD about something she's scared of, like Zombies, would be cruel. My dd has a fear and we never tease her about it, saying the X are gonna get you or anything of the kind.

Context: "ew, mom, what's that"
occctapuuuss eyeballs (grin)
"ewww"
here, try some....
bites gingerly into one of the balls....
"mommmm! it's cheese!"

Yep. Call CPS. She hasn't picked up a fork since and has reverted to peeing the bed.

Pass the cat-poop sandwiches, please.


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RE: Teasing

"Yep. Call CPS. She hasn't picked up a fork since and has reverted to peeing the bed.

Pass the cat-poop sandwiches, please"

HAAAAAA.

Tonight we had dinner at my mom's house, and DD wanted to play this game called Fortunately/Unfortunately.

IE--I will say, "Fortunately, I got a new coat today" and then the next person has to say something to go along with that. "Unfortunately, it had a spider in the pocket."

Get it?

So we get to DD and she says "Unortunately, my gorilla and his girlfriend gorilla had baby gorillas and we had to take care of all of them" and then DH was next and he said, "Fortunately, the babies looked just like DD."

SHE busted up laughing. Teasing? Of course. Funny? Yes.

I am astounded that some families really don't tease. My mom was poking fun at me about a car accident I was in when I was 16---very minor, I was already stopped at a redlight, and I rolled into the car in front of me. My foot had slipped off the break. Why? I was brushing lint off my black pants!

They were all poking fun about my flightiness at the time.

Was I offended? Of course not!

Teasing and good natured humor is always fun!


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RE: Teasing

There is a fine line between good humor and making fun of child's gullible nature. First is healthy, the second is not. Everyone decides where is that fine line, and usually only time will tell.


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RE: Teasing

I love it! I will have to introduce that game to DD. Tonight she hurt her ankle on the coffee table. I reached down, scooped her up, and kissed it. Then I recoiled in mock disgust...

cough cough...cough... stinky feet!!!
kiss
kiss
cough, cough....pppppppp uuuuuuuu!

then the dog comes over, and does a little dance sniff thing, and I said, wow, even the dog thinks your feet are stinky!

(dd giggles)

I kiss her ankle again... cough a few more times, dramatically.

Then.... and she licks her butt..... boy, your feet must really be stinky if the dog thinks they smell bad!


Question: If you don't "tease" your kids, how do you get them to come out of funks? How do you get them to giggle after pain? I had a little girl get stung the other day and instead of making her think she should be hurting I tried to turn it around, joking about the mean old bug and how scared the bug must have felt when her GIANT foot came crashing down and the bug "peed" her stinger she was so scared... etc...

I had people next to me who wanted to go the "poor you" route, but I think, as the 4 year old was out of my arms and dancing down the grass within minutes, my way was quite effective. I gave her a choice... here's where we can choose to cry, or to laugh... whatddya think? she choose to laugh. My kind of kid.


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RE: Teasing

we always played and still play around with DD, joking around with your loved ones is a part of life. I don't know how to raise kids without goofing around, it must be boring. I goof around with my students (of course not the same way as with my kid LOL). I goof around with my 8-year-old niece all the time, she is hilarious. Hopefully nobody has problems with joking and having fun. Good humor is great. Some other things not so much...


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RE: Teasing

The teasing about food subject is making me laugh. My father used to cook many exotic dishes, and I can tell you the words that struck fear into our hearts - "Don't worry what it is, just eat it." We could have (and still can) deal with eating damn near anything so long as we know what it is, but believe me that a kid can think up a lot more disgusting things than tripe, tongue, or octopus eyeballs if they don't know what they're being forced to eat. (Once I was absolutely convinced that my father had made us squashed dead baby robins for dinner; I have no idea why I thought this.)

SS has to try a bite of everything except weird meats (not that we often make weird meats). I remember all too well poking at some unidentifiable body part from some unknown animal and that feeling of dread knowing that I was not leaving the table until I ate all of it, and then I'd find out what I'd just ingested.


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RE: Teasing

Mattie, what an imagination! Squashed dead baby robins??!!


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RE: Teasing

I'm just afraid that if anyone past or present forced me to eat something weird or suggested that what I was being forced to eat or had just eaten was something disgusting, I would puke all over that witty person.

& wouldn't *that* be hilarious??


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RE: Teasing

How rude! At my house we encourage puking *away* from others.


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RE: Teasing

pass to the right, puke to the left! :)


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RE: Teasing

Uh, Sylvia? Did you stop to think that if any of our family members had weak stomachs, we wouldn't tease about icky food items?
We "teasers" in this thread only tease about things that aren't triggers for our own families. Icky food is apparently a trigger for you, so if you were in my family, we wouldn't tease about that subject.


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RE: Teasing

I worked with a woman who said her siblings had to eat everything on their plates, but she had gotten a pass on that because she could and did puke if she was forced to eat food she didn't like. I was jealous. :-)


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RE: Teasing

LOL justnot.

My dd has only puked twice in her life, both times from being ill. The kid eats EVERYTHING. That said, she once tried the "I'm gonna puke" on me and I told her if she did, she'd be considered to be ill and she'd be going to bed.

Well. Needless to say, she stopped gacking and started eating. If she were truly going to puke because she was sick she would have just done it. It was a power trip.

DD "didn't like" quesadillas and I "forced" her to try some. Kid cannot get enough of them now. Also, mango, scalloped potatoes, stuffing and a myriad of other foods. DH and I tease that we're not going to have her try things she says she doesn't like if it's something we DO like because she eats as much as an adult.... more for us!!!

And she's a pip of a thing. Only 45" tall and 45lbs. But she can power down a full order of Pho (I can't even usually finish one) or a couple of bowls of spaghetti with big meatballs no problem. I'm expecting a growth spurt any year now!


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