Easing the Teasing: How Parents Can Help Their Children (page 3)

By — Educational Resource Information Center (U.S. Department of Education)
Updated on Jul 26, 2007

When Teasing Becomes Harrassment

Most types of teasing can be dealt with effectively by the children involved, sometimes with the assistance of parents, caregivers, teachers, social workers, or counselors. Teasing becomes harassment, however, if it is repeated or prolonged, threatens or results in violence, or involves inappropriate touching or physical contact. Adults should be alert to the possibility of harassment and intervene as needed if harassment is suspected or anticipated. In such cases, it may be necessary to involve administrators and parents in determining the appropriate course of action to end the harassment. 


You can help your children understand that teasing cannot be prevented, and they cannot control what others say. However, they can learn to control their own responses and reactions, which will "ease the tease." 

This Digest was adapted from Freedman, Judy S. (1999, Spring). Easing the teasing: How parents can help their kids cope. EARLY CHILDHOOD, pp. 1, 4. Ms. Freedman is a licensed clinical social worker at Prairie Elementary School in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, and developer of a stress education program for children and parents. Her email address is 

For More Information

Berry, Joy Wilt. (1985). LET'S TALK ABOUT TEASING. Chicago: Children's Press. 

Biren, Richard L. (1997). NAH, NAH, NAH!: A COMPREHENSIVE TEASING-EDUCATION MANUAL FOR GRADES 3-5. Warminster, PA: Marco Products. 


Brigman, Greg, & Earley, Barbara. (1991). GROUP COUNSELING FOR SCHOOL COUNSELORS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE. Portland, ME: J. Weston Walch. 

Cohen-Posey, Kate. (1995). HOW TO HANDLE BULLIES, TEASERS, AND OTHER MEANIES. Highland City, FL: Rainbow Books. 

Cosby, Bill. (1997). THE MEANEST THING TO SAY. New York: Scholastic. 

Cowan, David; Schilling, Dianne; & Schwallie-Giddis, Pat. (1993). COUNSELOR IN THE CLASSROOM: ACTIVITIES AND STRATEGIES FOR AN EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM GUIDANCE PROGRAM. Spring Valley, CA: Innerchoice. 

Freedman, J. S. (Ed.). (1999). EASING THE TEASING [Online]. Available: [1999, July 10]. 

Kaufman, Gershen, & Raphael, Lev. (1990). STICK UP FOR YOURSELF: EVERY KID'S GUIDE TO PERSONAL POWER AND POSITIVE SELF-ESTEEM. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing. Olweus, D. (1993). BULLYING AT SCHOOL: WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT WE CAN DO. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. ED 384 437. 

Ross, Dorothea M. (1996). CHILDHOOD BULLYING AND TEASING: WHAT SCHOOL PERSONNEL, OTHER PROFESSIONALS, AND PARENTS CAN DO. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association. ED 402 527. 

Webster-Doyle, Terrence. (1991). WHY IS EVERYBODY ALWAYS PICKING ON ME? A GUIDE TO HANDLING BULLIES. Middlebury, VT: Atrium Publications. ED 410 007.

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