Bullying and Teasing – There’s A Difference

Friday June 22, 2012

By Sherri M. Gordon

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Recently, a friend and I were discussing bullying. As an elementary school guidance counselor, she told me that she receives numerous calls from parents claiming their child has been bullied.

But most of the time, after looking into the incidents, she finds that while the behavior of the student accused of bullying was inappropriate, it doesn't always constitute bullying.

As any mom will tell you, kids can be insensitive and unkind. We've all seen our kids say or do something cringe-worthy. And we've watched our kids be on the receiving end of those cringe-worthy moments too.

We also know that kids don't always play fair. They might show favoritism among friends. And they even say things that hurt another child's feelings. While these incidents all need to be addressed, they don't always constitute bullying.

In fact, many times kids, especially those in grade school, are just beginning to develop their sense of humor. So often times, hurtful comments are actually just failed attempts at humor.

In fact most kids have been teased by a friend - or even by a sibling - in a playful, friendly and mutual way. But how do you know when teasing crosses the line into bullying? Check out my article "Bullying or Unkind Behavior? How to Know the Difference."


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