Teasing and harassment is something very common among kids. There's a fine line between these two, and it's very easy to cross the limit of teasing.
Kids have fun by making fun of others. Sometimes their jokes are harmless, but they can also cross this teasing border, and go into the bullying extreme. You, as a parent, have this responsibility to pay attention to any unusual behavior your kid may have.
Knowing the difference between teasing and harassment
Most of the time, harassment starts with a tease, and will progressively get worse. The bully will make jokes about another kid or kids, and they won't stop until someone takes some action.
The coaches will probably not even know about this situation, until it gets serious.
Teasing is pretty harmless. One kid jokes about another one, and he jokes back at him. Harassment is not only physical, it's verbal as well. The bully usually calls the victim names, and starts saying really bad things to him. Though at first it may seem like the bully is just a mean kid, it's actually more serious than this.
The words the bully says can deeply hurt and emotionally affect the other kid.
How to spot if your kid is being harassed at the sports club
Your kid probably won't come running to you to tell you that some kid is picking on him, saying mean words, or that he's hurting him physically. He will keep this to himself.
If your kid is usually happy, in a good mood, and is eating well, and suddenly all of these radically change, then it's time to start asking yourself some questions.
Talk to him, explain to him that's it's OK to tell you if there's something wrong, and that you're there for him. If you suspect that someone is harassing your child, the best option is to talk to the coaches from the sports club, or to the manager, and address this problem.
Most of the time, you can't see what's already in front of you. Clubs have policies against bullying, and if they spot such behavior, they will take action so that the bully won't continue what he's doing.
Teasing and harassment appear similar for some people, but they're definitely not.
We should not accept harassment, especially in our kids' life
Harassment is pretty common. Kids will always find something to make fun of about the other kids. For example, when they're changing in the locker room, a kid that is skinny can make fun of another kid that is not so thin looking.
Kids may not know how to defend themselves from this type of behavior, but you as a parent need to be able to spot any changes in their way of being.
Have you ever dealt with teasing and harassment at your kid's sports club? If so, how did you figure it out? And more importantly, what did you do to take action against this bullying behavior? Let me know if you have had some kind of experience with this type of issue.