Bullying vs Teasing... Is teasing also bulling?

There is so much in the press these days about bullying..  I think I was never bullied or at least I never thought I was bullied.  I was however teased... BIG difference.  The reason I say, I think, is because the word Bully was not used in those days.  In those days you had to deal with the big brother or sister.  That usually would take care of it.

As I reflect back to my school days my sister was in school 2 years behind me and she was teased often.  She behaved in a dramatic way spurring on more teasing.  Was she bullied?  Not until high school when she challenged a couple new girls in high school that were as tall(6ft) as her.  They took the challenge resulting in my sister being tormented.  It was a little on the bullying side, although there was no threat of harm.

As per the article below, bullying is linked to harm, both physically and mental.  Teasing is for fun or to get a rise out of someone without thought of aggressive behavior.

Here is what one article says....
Teasing and Bullying, Boys and Girls
Unlike bullying, victims help determine the meaning of teasing.
Bullying v. Teasing
One basic distinction often made in the literature on peer-on-peer aggression is  between bullying  and teasing.  Bullying is an overt act of aggression, whose intention is to harm the victim.  Motivations for bullying vary, from the nasty pleasure of asserting power over someone who is weaker or helpless to trying to increase one’s own status.  The literature on bullying makes three things clear. 
  • First, a minority of adolescents overtly bully others – it isn’t something that most kids do.  Too many kids, yes (estimates vary by method and context).  Most kids, no. 
  • Second, many bullies are low status and both bully others and are victimized themselves. 
  • Third, and probably most disturbingly, most kids will stand by and watch a bully harass and hurt one of their peers without stepping in and stopping it.  Moreover, they often make it worse by acting as an audience – or even laughing.  All the estimates I have read that say that almost 75% of all children “bully” have classified kids who watch or laugh when someone else hurts a peer as being the same as perpetrators. 
Teasing, as the word is usually used by people who study peer interactions, is different from bullying, at least from the perspective of the perpetrator. 
Let me say that again.  FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE PERPETRATOR and of an outside observer, teasing is different from bullying.  From the perspective of the victim, this distinction may be unimportant.  Teasing can also turn into bullying.  But the distinction between bullying and teasing is important, because the way teasing and the way bullying work socially are very different. 
If we want to understand peer-on-peer aggression, it’s important to keep that distinction clear. Two keep facts:
  • Teasing is an AMBIGUOUS social exchange that can be friendly, neutral, or negative.
  • How a teasing interchange proceeds really depends upon how the person BEING TEASED reacts. 
For example, if a girl walks into the cafeteria with a boy and a classmate says “OOO!  Carmen’s got a BOY friend!”, it’s probably teasing. 
Carmen could smile, laugh, and say it’s true.  Then it might turn into a cheerful discussion. 
She could blush and deny it, it which case the other girls might laugh and more teasing might ensue or it could be dropped. 
Or she could get angry and treat the remark as if it were hostile, in which case the next remark would almost definitely be more overtly hostile and negative. 
Or, Carmen might just laugh, shake her head, ask the teaser if she’s jealous, and never address the question at all.
Bullying doesn’t work that way.   Because the intention of bullying – including verbal harassment or aggression – is to hurt the victim, their reaction doesn't determine the meaning of the bully’s action.  It is overtly hostile and almost nothing the victim does will change that.
The meaning of teasing depends on how the person being teased responds.  If the teased laughs, it’s a joke.  If they take it seriously, it’s serious.  If they take it as an insult, it is and the next interaction proceeds accordingly.  Even youth who are often targeted by their peers – like students with developmental disabilities – are less likely to be teased or bullied over time if they respond to teasing as if it were a joke.
TO READ FULL ARTICLE:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/thinking-about-kids/201010/teasing-and-bullying-boys-and-girls

Bullying should NOT be tolerated in any situation or circumstance.  Teasing is something we all do from time to time...  I got teased often but it was never anything but fun, not threatened or bullied.  

To help your child, read this article below...this is for when Teasing goes past a tease and into a threat.

Help Your Child Deal with Bullying

By   | posted Mar 6th 2013 at 6:00AM

http://idiva.com/news-relationships/help-your-child-deal-with-bullying/20003

Preparing your child for the bully's at school is a good thing.. Teaching them how to deal with teasing is altogether different.  Fun is Fun, risk of Harm is altogether different.

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