I have worked with two lovely boys in the last week who have had exactly the same BELIEF.
They both believe that other kids LIKE it when they tease other kids and “muck around.” I call it good old fashioned SHOWING OFF, their reasoning is the same, “They laugh they must like it!”
I tried explaining that other kids laugh because their Shady (fearful part of them) is glad it is not them who is getting bullied or made fun of (which is bullying too by the way) and yes it is funny in Shady’s opinion but it is also mean. They don’t believe me because it has worked for them for so long and kids continue to laugh.
Okay then how about we go around the class and get each kid to say ONE behaviour they like about the boys (these kids are not in the same class). Yep just as I thought not one kid said, “I like it when they bully other people” or “I like it when they make someone else upset.” PROBLEM was though in both classes a few kids said, “He is funny.”
Next round, let’s clarify “He is funny”. Let’s go around the kids again one at a time and ask what they don’t like about the boys behaviour (again in two separate classes). Answers were insightful, “I don’t like it when he makes fun of me”, “I don’t like it when he hurts me” and “I don’t like it when he interupts all the time.”
When I followed up with both boys whose peers basically said the same thing, they both said, “Yeah but they like it when I’m funny.” So then I give them my tough Sparky chat…
“Funny is okay when there is no VICTIM of your joke. Does Sparky (loving part of you) think it is funny? When you TEASE, TAUNT and purposefully HURT someone to make OTHER people laugh that’s called BULLYING and if you do it again because your Shady tells you, “It’s funny” then you can miss out on two play sessions and your mum and dad and I will have a talk about other ways to “Be funny”.
Threats? Yep you bet, sometimes Sparky lets a bit of Shady in when parenting! They have to know you mean it!