When your child comes home from school or the playground irritated and hurt by the words of a teaser, it’s hard to know what to do. Mothers witness endless tears and misdirected outbursts in the aftermath.
Sometimes, your child may not even tell you what happened, so you fumble in the dark watching unexpected anger at siblings as the teased become the teasers of others younger than them.
Once you learn the details, it’s tempting to just tell your child to stand up to their accuser, but this takes confidence that teased children rarely have, at least at first.
How to Listen to a Teased Child
When your child finally confesses what happened in all his wounded words, it’s essential to just listen without offering a ready solution. Help the child tell his story in as much detail as he is ready for.
He probably won’t want you to probe because then he feels accused. Sometimes children even feel criticized by innocent parent questions because they have become so sensitive from their experience with the teaser.
Statements like, “Tell me what happened” or “Tell me more about it” will probably suffice. It may be hours or even days of bits and pieces of the incident that reveals what went on. With a lot of patience, you may discover this teasing has been going on for weeks and your humiliated child was too proud to say what happened.