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Show ALL Forums  > Single Parents  > teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?      Home login  
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 4408joseph
Joined: 1/10/2008
Msg: 1
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teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Plain and simple.. Does teasing and picking on your kids give them a tougher skin and more self esteem.

I say yes.

No, not teasing and picking taking it to the extreme where their feelings really are hurt. But raising them that "sticks & stones....." I rasied 2 step-sons, and daughter 9 1/2(now), and they are ALL very self confident. Not only did I tease them with any of their flaws, I also allowed them to tease me..( part of the teaching words don't hurt)

In my defense I don't allow my child to say "I can't" , but only " I tried"

I've caught a little BS from a few for not being PC and sensitive and caring.
 Revilors
Joined: 10/9/2008
Msg: 3
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/14/2011 12:09:26 PM

No, not teasing and picking taking it to the extreme where their feelings really are hurt.


There are different kinds of teasing. Loving/playful teasing, sexual, hurtful etc...

To lump them together in a single basket is apples and oranges.


Not only did I tease them with any of their flaws, I also allowed them to tease me..( part of the teaching words don't hurt)


Everyone wants and needs a "safe" place. For me to agree or disagree with your philosophy...I would need your definition of a "flaw" that you consider fair game. If in flaws, you are talking about weight issues, scars, small genital/breast size, club feet etc..., I can't tell you how wrong I think it is coming from a parent or other significant person in their life.

I could tease my kids about being messy, poor drivers or other quirky things that actually endear me to them. But not those that they don't like about themselves. And vise versa.
 4408joseph
Joined: 1/10/2008
Msg: 4
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teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/14/2011 12:10:40 PM
Well, let me clear up real quick.. Not talking about beating them in the ground with ridicule .. Also...NOT bullying.. More like half-hearted teasing..

Missed play at second base, zit on the nose, talking funny cause missing baby teeth. Basically the sible rivalry teasings.. I've read many of times sible rivalry makes/made children stronger.

and yes I do realize esteem and confidense are not 100% the same, but laymens rule of thumb as the same. Not trying to get tooo deep here.
 Revilors
Joined: 10/9/2008
Msg: 5
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/14/2011 12:46:54 PM
There are many problems with this world...but I can think of two that apply here.


More like half-hearted teasing..


If you know (not just think you know) the subject of the playful teasing and their limits it's all fine and good. I have three kids. There would be certain things I could tease one...but not another. There are certain times (moods) when I wouldn't. The problem is...is that some people aren't aware enough to know when to shut up and feelings are hurt. Teasing about a "zit on the nose"...imo...sends a wrong message. You wish to teach that it's a flaw...and you should get over it. I would rather send the message that it is natural...some get 'em...some don't...and it's really a non issue. I've yet to meet the person that isn't somewhat embarrassed by a zit on the nose. Why? Because we just can't let it go. We consider it a flaw...and teasing...half-hearted or otherwise will always perpetuate that.

Another problem...and I think maybe why you started this thread...is the extreme attitudes that yield extreme solutions. Non-athletic children get low self esteem because of dodge-ball. So...no children in school will be allowed to play dodge-ball...ever again. How 'bout instead...you have an alternate activity or class for those that choose not to. Kids have low self-esteem from being teased and could become violent. So...if you call your 6'4" best friend in school "Stretch" in front of faculty...you get expelled. The broad brush fixes that cause at least as many problems as they solve.
 Walts
Joined: 5/7/2005
Msg: 6
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/14/2011 3:35:17 PM
There are ways to teach your children how to "laugh at themselves" without "teasing". BEFORE you decide to "tease" you better hope they have some backbone, cause I know many adults can't take a negative word from anyone without having a total meltdown.
Playful words, how you use them, where you use them, and in front of whom are 3 things you must be keenly aware of.
Again, know that there better be a foundation for your children's "self-esteem" before you start throwing out the verbal jabs. Also know, that each individual is different on how they accept such jabs,,,,even in the same family. I am the oldest of 8, and I can tell you that some of my siblings are not as strong as the others when it comes to this type of stuff. And we are adults.
 sweetest
Joined: 10/8/2007
Msg: 7
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teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/14/2011 4:09:13 PM
.OP, it's often a harsh world for kids...even young ones...with this 'celebrity culture' ...conformity...and feeling that you need to belong.

Bullying, while you're not mentioning this...is often an issue for a lot of kids...and often that comes through on the playground as teasing and making fun of perceived weaknesses in front of groups or one-to-one.

Given this...kids do need a port in the storm. What you perceive as a bit of lighthearted teasing about something related to them isn't going to help them in the long term. Kids, especially young pre-pubescent girls don't need teasing...as everything can and often is easily overblown.

If there's any benefit to do this, you've not converted me to your side with your post.

Give kids the straight goods when they ask for it, and encourage them to that 'can-do' behavior by getting behind them and believing in their ability to follow through---that attitude is about reinforcement about building up. Teasing is about tearing down.

I can see it being hard for a kid to be able to turn to a parent who has shown disdain by mocking some perceived weakness in them. The far more important role for you to play is to be that rock and shoulder for them when they're a bit lost and a bit unsure...that's the aspect of the relationship that you'd be jeopardizing in my opinion if you continue
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 8
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teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/14/2011 6:52:12 PM

Plain and simple.. Does teasing and picking on your kids give them a tougher skin and more self esteem.


A sheer display of ignorance. Teaching "sticks & stones" does not equate to picking or teasing, both are which cruel displays of immaturity which can crush a child's self esteem while having absolutely no merit at all.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 9
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teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/15/2011 7:31:57 AM
I think that you, OP, aren't entirely clear about what you're doing, and that this is why you aren't communicating it very well here. The fact that you are not clear about it in your own head, would make it a dangerous plan to follow.

I THINK I understand what you think you are trying to do: to "inoculate" your kids against the painful teasing and harassment they will likely run into in real life. I have problems with what you seem to be describing as a way to go about it.
The biggest problem with what you are describing, is that you say you are FAKING your "teasing." Criticizing children when you DON'T actually think they deserve it, will actually teach them that DAD LIES AND MANIPULATES. This will NOT help them deal with the REAL teasing and harassment they will meet in the real world, because they will sense that that is very real, and be even more hurt by it. You would do much better to alert your children that others might tease them and criticize them, and that they can react by deciding for themselves if the criticism is legitimate (were they REALLY not trying as hard as they wanted to?), and either change themselves, or ignore it. After all, the MOST important thing for any of us to know, is that we have to be our own guides to whether we are doing what we intend to in our lives, and not be reliant on other people's opinions about it.
I would suggest that you help them cope with teasing the more common, old fashioned way, by telling them when it happens that some kids will tease you because they are mad at you for doing well, and others will do it because they think yelling at other people is how to prove they are better; and that NEITHER is a legitimate way to behave with others.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 10
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teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/15/2011 6:05:25 PM
I can't imagine why any father would want to do that, unless by "teasing and picking on" you mean playing and joking that makes the child happy. But that's not how I usually think of those words.

Even if whatever you did worked out well with your own kids, that doesn't make it good advice for anyone else. That's not the way to get children used to taking their lumps. You do all you can to build them up against those lumps. Then when they happen, as they will, and the child is unhappy about it, you support and comfort and explain in a way they can understand.

I don't like the idea of the kind of "make 'em tough" approach you seem to be talking about in any case. And it's risky, because some children are a lot more sensitive than others. Sure, some may get through their hazing just fine. But what about an unusually sensitive, emotional child? With them, especially when they're very young, I'm sure it doesn't take much of that kind of teasing and picking on to predispose them to some very serious problems as adults.

If that happens, instead of inoculating your child against the cruel, cold world, you've helped make its world much crueler and colder than it otherwise would have been. What kind of man would be proud of having done that to his own child, all because he had some dumb, unfounded notion it was always helpful? Ignorant, and just wrong.
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 11
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teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/15/2011 8:29:34 PM
Teasing is, by definition, ridicule. Ridicule is not "playful". Ridiculing a child is not a method to insulate them from it, unless of course, what you intend is to disconnect your child from their emotions. Ridicule should never come form the very person in whom you should always be able to place your trust. Bullying a child teaches them either that it is okay to bully, or that they deserve to be bullied, but it most certainly does not teach them how to deal with a bully. It is not preferable to have thick skin, as you describe it, when one is developing & learning how to deal socially. There are very many professionals, in school, certainly in your area, and very many books as well on the subject. I strongly suggest you make a visit to the local library, or better yet, sign off this site & google it..
 soicat
Joined: 3/3/2010
Msg: 12
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/16/2011 7:00:07 AM
Teasing and picking on children under the pretext of toughening them up is one of the worst things you can do if you want them to grow into happy, confident, well-adjusted adults.

People like the OP always have justifications for their abuse, and being blind to the contempt in which normal people hold them is one of their hallmarks.
 femaleconnection
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 13
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/17/2011 9:14:45 AM
I think there are times we can 'tease' and make fun of the silly things in life, and there are times when we should not.

My family uses humor-alot. We tease one another now, and did so as children. Cripes, my parents nick- named me ' chief running water' because I wet the bed once...LOL...I still get called that once in awhile.

However, I always knew my parents had my back and I could come to them with anything. As long as teasing is not resulting in pushing a young one away, it is likely fine...but what one child can take, another may not, so you need to be careful. Not everyone has the same tolerance for humor in an uncomfortable situation and all boundaries need to be respected. Just because one child reacts negatively to being teased does not mean you should go at it until they accept it. It means back off and try another way to lighten the moment.

Like anything else, moderation, kindness and really knowing your child makes all the difference. (not knowing how YOU want to be treated, knowing how THEY want to be treated)
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 14
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teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/17/2011 12:29:03 PM
You can't laugh at your flaws without celebrating your successes. Teasing and pointing out a child's mistakes only leads to resentment.
 BoonDockSaint73
Joined: 3/29/2010
Msg: 15
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/24/2011 12:26:55 PM
the only way I see to build self esteem (in your children) is to actually teach them how to be successful, how to think for themselves and accomplish a goal.

however it takes to get there can be very different with each child.

beating them into submission isn't the answer
saying yes to their every want desire isnt' the answer.
 BoonDockSaint73
Joined: 3/29/2010
Msg: 20
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 2/7/2011 8:55:55 AM

My cousin is a very good looking woman, a successful therapist and in a happy relationship. She has an unwavering self-assurance, and pretty at ease with life. But her father called her ugly through out her entire childhood, and even to this day ("I missed my ugly little girl"). HORRIBLE, I know! But it was loving, friendly and in a joking manner, and she has a good relationship with her father to this day.


my last gf I had- she was the darkest of her brothers/sisters....she was mixed...

her dad called her the "Caca de Vaca""

meaning she was the sh1t of the cow....


she absolutely loved it and how he teased her with it even in her late 30s...


it just matters how it is done and how lovingly it is said...and how the child responds to it...
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 21
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teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 2/8/2011 7:28:28 PM

Nearly everything can be funny if looked at from the right angle or perspective. I'd like to teach my child that even if he doesn't find something funny, there is probably someone out there that will laugh at it


I agree, but what you describe, particularly with your anecdotal story of spilling, is teaching humor, NOT teasing and certainly sans ridicule. In the end, it will help your child deal with both, so kudos to you! There will come a day when your child is embarrassed by something they have said or done, or by being laughed at, and I am fairly confident from your postings that you will handle it, not by ridiculing your child so as to ensure a "thick skin" but by compassionate examples of humor. There is a huge difference. I certainly remember the day my two year old, while watching "Beauty & the Beast" for the first tine, turned to me and said "Hideous Beast is NOT a term of endearment, Mommy!". I never referred to her thusly again. You take your cues from whence they come, and there is a distinction between humor & ridicule. Ridicule is most definitely not intended to be a teaching tool, it is merely a way for some to deal with their own shortcomings, and you are kidding yourself if you think that teasing a child will help them deal with the world in the long term.
 MsWinter
Joined: 9/18/2010
Msg: 22
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teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 7/10/2011 5:56:42 AM
I was one of those teased children-at the age 13 I left and have not come back yet.
What do you get out of "teasing" your children.......it sounds like it is more less your lacking something out in your life-easy to bull someone who is in a stuck situation such like your step children now.
I was an upcoming athletic andbeing trained for olympics at a very young age and my father's "teasing" ate it all away-being young and when my trainer was complimenting me for being a fantastic athletic ,I took it as he was trying to put me down and being sarcastic. I could not understand at that time that the man was being a trainer who had my very best in mind -I just didn't trust him and I walked out out of my career.
I teach my children that we all have faults . When my daughter was ill and her friends started to bully her ,I told her to be confidet in a bad situation and to face each bullying friend by singeling them out and asking them that if their flaws were inside or out.Bullying stopped and in came confidence.
Do not tease your children ,not even kiddingly .
 Penpal46
Joined: 6/5/2011
Msg: 23
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 7/10/2011 10:04:11 AM
If it builds self confidence it only comes at the expense of others. You ever wonder how many other people were devastated by the Skills you taught those children. And I wonder. Are they Self confident or Arrogant and cruel?
Some people are actually shocked when a teen goes crazy and tries to wipe out a school. News Flash for you. It was the Teasing and Picking!
Perhaps you had success with the children more because you took interest in their lives and activities. Giving children our time and attention always gives them a boost in confidence. They often judge their own self worth by the amount of focus their parents give. That is why the rich kid raised by the nanny is rarely as happy as the poor kid that plays catch with Dad and Mom in the evenings.
 Penpal46
Joined: 6/5/2011
Msg: 25
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 7/10/2011 7:13:14 PM

Hey Metal Mesh:

Ever think it would be helpful to teach kids that some things hurt and it is ok to feel pain and show it? Perhaps spend less time trying to control their emotions and more time guiding them to absorb, recover and rebuild when life is Not funny?
It is unrealistic and inappropriate to turn everything into a joke or try to see the humor in everything. It is also confusing to tell a child when they are sad or hurt that they should "laugh it off". When you do that you tell them their natural emotions are wrong. Are you really trying to induce sociopathic behavior? Probably not but how often do you think a child can be told "day is night" before they begin to believe?
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 26
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 7/10/2011 8:32:08 PM

Plain and simple.. Does teasing and picking on your kids give them a tougher skin and more self esteem.

I say yes.

No, not teasing and picking taking it to the extreme where their feelings really are hurt. But raising them that "sticks & stones....." I rasied 2 step-sons, and daughter 9 1/2(now), and they are ALL very self confident. Not only did I tease them with any of their flaws, I also allowed them to tease me..( part of the teaching words don't hurt)

Had my former husband teased or picked on my son, he would have found himself divorced long before he was. This goes right along with "brutal honesty" in my opinion. Honestly never needs to be "brutal" and children, no matter what they're individual disposition is or what perceived "flaws" are (by a step-parent? Wow, bold assessment on that note!) need not be teased or picked on. Especially in their own home. Yes, I understand the little jabs about holes in lips, someone getting new glasses/braces, etc., etc., and I still don't agree that things meant to taunt a child are productive even if everyone laughs on the outside, there is NO guarantee the child is laughing on the inside. "Sticks and stones" lessons will be learned outside the home. No need to help with such ignorance by joining in. At least in my opinion.
 msright78
Joined: 12/11/2012
Msg: 27
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/6/2013 1:55:08 PM
I tease my niece all the time. But not in hurtful ways.

She's a bit overweight, but I've never told her that she's fat.

I just tease her like, 'if u don't drink milk, ur gonna be short like ur mom'. So do u want to drink milk everyday and be tall as me and ur dad or short as ur mom? Well that worked. She drinks milk more now.

I don't believe in putting my niece down in building her self esteem. Instead I tell her, that she should be strong and not back down when ppl bully her or call her any names. She should voice her opinions back to that person and let them know that ur the not someone whose gonna get picked on!
 J_bird61
Joined: 10/22/2011
Msg: 28
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/12/2013 10:26:15 PM
I say no.
Picking on your kids does not build self esteem. It builds resentment, doubt and lasting low self esteem.
I base this on experience.
Can I ask? How hard is it for you to pick out 2 things your kids are great at and focus on those?

What is PC?
Forget about the word"sensitive" but maybe try being "smart"? or maybe "kind" or maybe "supportive".
Ya know what, words do hurt. Especially when your little or especially when it's your dad.
 MissyShelle
Joined: 11/24/2012
Msg: 29
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/12/2013 11:10:15 PM
One of my twins has been picked on so severely since 5th grade, she's now in counseling. I teach all of my girls to stand up for themselves, to believe in themselves. But sometimes, your peers constantly putting you down and degrading you is too much for anyone to bear.

There is a line. And if the recent rash of suicides among kids who have been bullied says anything, it doesn't take much to cross that.
 Walts
Joined: 5/7/2005
Msg: 30
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/13/2013 6:05:54 AM

There is a line. And if the recent rash of suicides among kids who have been bullied says anything, it doesn't take much to cross that.



There is one different way to look at it. Ask yourself, was there MORE "bullying/teasing" 20-3o years ago as compared to today because of our lack of knowledge/education of the subject back then????? If so, why wasn't there more "suicides"??????Why are our kids turning to "suicides" as the answer to the problem of this "bullying/teasing" today?????

"Names" didn't seem to break our bones (or hurt us) as much back then as it seems to do today, is all I am suggesting. At times I do wonder why. Is it because we "hear" of such instances more because of the way all types of media are reporting such????? Or is it we have this "belief" that we can elminate every bully in our lives out of it forever????? Sorry to say, but, bullies will always be around. Always. And because of that, giving our children the skills to deal with such shiatheads is a better option than to just "proclaim" that "bullying is bad". Now, how to teach those skills is not as easy as we wish. What skill of any value is easy though?????
 nikkisenko
Joined: 9/5/2011
Msg: 31
teasing and picking on kids, builds self-esteem?
Posted: 1/13/2013 10:38:31 AM

Good natured ribbing is fine... flinging hurtful things and then claiming it's just good-natured ribbing isn't. Pay attention to how your kids are taking the kidding, and never make it worse for them by telling them that their hurt is somehow their fault. Kids don't think like we do, and most of them haven't learned not to take things so literally


I agree with this. Someone lovingly laughing WITH you is usually just fine. The hole in the lip example sounds fine.

The problem is, that is not what I have seen for the most part. It tends to happen more like the lady whose father she was pretty...pretty ugly. There isn't anything nice, teachable, or constructive about those comments.

My children's father has a friend who has always picked on his kids and any other kids in sight. He and I have gone toe to toe over how he is with mine. No matter what he claims, his actions are flat out bullying. My kids can't stand him. And, going by the status of his relationship with his own children now days, I'd say they recognize his behavior as not nice either.
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