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Teasing Is Bullying Too, Richard Paul

Many think that a bully is some one who only threatens or physically hurt someone all the time, but the truth is teasing is bullying too. We’ve all heard the phrase “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Name-calling is a form of bullying that sometimes scares people for life. When one makes fun of another person for the way they look or degrades someone because they have a learning disability, they may think it’s funny but in reality they’re hurting the other person deep inside.

Recently a friend of mine attended her twenty year class reunion, a women came up to her and shouted: “You, you are the one who made fun of me all the time, I used to go to bed crying myself to sleep. “SHAME ON YOU!”

My friend couldn’t remember what she used to say to her but apparently her target remembered every word; it was etched in her brain. This is what teasing does, it’s not cute and it’s not a part of proper social behavior.

There was a survey conducted by Professor’s Roberta and Warren Heydenberk, Ed. D.
They asked hundreds of students, which is worse physical or verbal bullying. A clear majority surveyed preferred the physical bully to the verbal. “One 12 year-old girl explained that “when you get punched, the pain goes away in a few minutes, but when someone says mean things to you or about you, the pain lasts a long time. Sometimes it even gets worse the next day.”

So how do we put an end to the teasing? I think we’d be living in a dream world if we said we can end it, but I believe we can each work to reduce it by not only teaching positive communication skills but to also walk the talk in our own lives. Children learn by example and when we as parents/teachers loose our temper and call a child stupid or label them as “bad kids or brats” we are hurting them deep inside. Our goal should be to give our children a safe academic environment while at the same time building a character based foundation at home by which they can come to understand differences and embrace the social principles of respect and responsibility.

It is one thing to teach respect and responsibility and it is another to live it.
It is one thing to tell our children not to tease another and it’s another to make a mean comment about another person in earshot of are children. The point is we need to remind ourselves that words are so powerful that they can touch the heart or bruise the brain. If we want our kids to stop the teasing and name-calling we must first clean the mud off our thoughts before we ever open our mouths. At schools and at work we are told to evaluate our programs to see if what we are doing is working. I say daily we must evaluate our words to make sure that they are respectful and kind while at the same time reminding our children that life is about getting along with other people, it is about building friendships, stepping stones by which to learn and lead successful character based lives.

Copyright Richard Paul 2013

2 Responses to “Teasing Is Bullying Too, Richard Paul”


    You don’t hear a lot about character these days
    Except when it’s expressed by a bully;
    An individual known for his meanness toward others
    And extraordinary ability to sully.

    He thinks he’s cool and pretty tough,
    Popular and loved by all;
    He tells jokes that are made at another’s expense
    Revealing he’s a person quite small.

    Giving rein to anger is a nuisance to others
    If not checked it can grow and fester
    It won’t help your cause if by chance you are wrong
    And if you’re right you’re viewed a detester.

    But a Scout in control of his anger and fear,
    Everything – except conscious and shame,
    Is well on his way to being a gentleman,
    Living a life with purpose and good name.

    He can control his thoughts before he speaks
    And calm himself down for awhile.
    He gives himself time to think about things
    by offering a whistle and smile.

    A Scout is no bully if he has listened and learned
    That by using kind words he’s a charmer,
    and exercising self-control whenever he can
    He becomes a Knight in Scouting armour.

    -Baden-Powell quotes adapted by
    Amy McNeil, Chaplain Aide Training Chair
    Denver Area Council (2013)
    for Special Needs District
    By Amy McNeil

  2. A girl at school is terrified of spiders. Even the word spider terrifies her. Some kids held her down and told her they were putting spiders in her ears.
    By Diane Peters

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