Harmless Teasing may Develop Kids’ Sense of Humour

by Savitha C Muppala on  January 6, 2009 at 4:50 PM Child Health News   - G J E 4
 Harmless Teasing may Develop Kids’ Sense of Humour
Teasing children has never been considered positive, but what does a recent insight say?

Nicknames such as "stinky", "pizza-face" which is not taken very well may actually have a positive side to it, eventually helping kids. Kids exposed to teasing learn to cope and develop better social skills with the ability to laugh at such taunts.

Dr Erin Heerey, a psychologist at Bangor University, North Wales, explained that teasing is an integral part of growing up and should not be attributed to bullying. Infact, when children are addressed with nicknames, it could even make them popular.

"If everybody's smiling there's no reason to step in and stop it. The children are learning about social norms and how to interact with each other," she said.

Teasing also improves communicative abilities in children who learn to effectively use their voice and body language to understand the underlying tone and meaning.

Dr Heerey said: "I think it takes a while for kids to gain proficiency. You can watch teenagers queuing up to buy a movie ticket and they banter with one another. They say really horrible things to one but they are all laughing and it's all fun."

Dacher Keltner of California University also conducted a study to understand the role of teasing in US college fraternities.

The study showed that when new comers were ragged about their unbecoming traits, it resulted in shaping of good behaviours. Ragging also promoted group bonding and encouraged friendship.

Two years after the study, the researchers revisited the study group to find those who had been teased a lot occupying leadership positions.  

She said: "It's absolutely essential in building teams. In my workplace people engage in these teasing, bantering, off-record comments all the time. It allows people to get along and build better relationships with one another."

Source: Medindia

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