{Parenting} When Teasing Isn't Funny

Teasing | Care.com | Kimberly Kalil CreativeI have a new parenting article up over at Care.com exploring what teasing is and how it can go wrong. Teasing can be playful and fun when done in the right spirit. But how do you help your kids see that line between teasing and hurting someone's feelings? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Many families like to engage in playful teasing like tickling, gentle mocking or calling each other silly names. But it can be confusing for children to know when joking around is all in good fun and when it goes too far. "If the teasing had good results, making people laugh and relieving stress in a social situation, then it was obviously appropriate," says Israel "Izzy" Kalman, a licensed school psychologist and founder of Bullies2Buddies, an online resource to help kids get along and treat each other with kindness.

He adds that if the behavior has a bad effect -- meaning, if it made someone feel badly about themselves or made others uncomfortable -- then it's inappropriate. When it does become a problem, look deeper to find the root issue causing the mean-spirited joking and badgering.