The last couple of days have been interesting as I ponder teasing! All households have a form of teasing and the teasing creates laughter and much needed tension breakers, which is really appreciated when something was said that can be taken hurtful and someone says something that makes it truly funny in a non hurtful way. Teasing is so important; it creates laughter and bonding when done in the form of love. I have been asking myself what happens when teasing is done in an emotional frequency that is meant to be embarrassing, mean, or even a type of sarcasm?
As I have been asking myself this question, I had the opportunity to watch a video of a mom or dad who set their teen up to ask for some blinker fluid and then record the whole incident on video. We all received a laugh at this teen’s expense. It sparked a moment a couple of years ago, as I remembered one of my boys coming home from school. My son mentioned he had given one of his friends some advice because this friend was afraid to ask their parents for some simple advice regarding driving. I asked, “Why is your friend afraid to ask their parents for driving advice.” His response was, this friend is afraid of how the parents make fun of him/her when he/she don’t know answers to something.
This response really caught me off guard, how many of us as parents love to tease and embarrass our children thinking it is so funny? This experience gave me an idea of how teasing from love builds self esteem, safety, and openness that is so needed in today’s families. I also saw how the embarrassing, mean, or sarcastic teasing creates an environment of distrust, shuts down the communication between child and parent. More importantly this kind of teasing creates fear and anxiety within our child right in our own homes. We want our teens to come to us especially around peer pressure, sex, drugs, and alcohol, but are we actually creating an environment that shuts them down?
Within my house we never were able to tease with sarcasm, Jaden actually sees the emotional frequency. So when Jaden tried to tease with sarcasm, it came out in the true emotional frequency of embarrassment or plain mean. Never fun and someone was always mad with Jaden when he did try.
Until this week I never have been so grateful for this teasing limitation within my own household. Now I understand why his behavior was this way. He inadvertently created a safe space for my other two to be able to open up and feel safe within our own home and not be afraid to come to us for those really embarrassing or uncomfortable moments in life when they need to understand more fully sex, drugs, etc…