Girl Laughing

Playground banter – do your children love it or hate it? Can your child deal with it or do they get upset when friends are ‘ribbing’ them? Some children find banter really hard to deal with as they take it personally.

Banter is not meant to hurt the other person as it is intended to be playful conversation. If so, we may need to teach our child why their friend said something and what they meant by it. Ideally they need to be able to give banter back – i.e. join in and pass an insult/ridicule back and not feel that their friend ‘does not like them’. They do!

Giving & Taking Banter

In the car recently my son and his friend were discussing football. I say discussing but it was more taking the mickey out of the other child’s team. They were comparing the football team’s performances. It was not personal. It was just banter and harmless fun. I asked my son what he thought of the conversation and he said ‘it’s just banter Mum. It’s what we do’.

I see and hear more of this once children are up in the upper years of primary school. They have opinions they want to share, they know a lot more about who they are and what they stand for. They also know what their friends are like and who can take a joke and enjoys banter.

The question is do they know who doesn’t enjoy it and will be upset by a throwaway comment? I always say tread carefully. If your child does not know how a friend is going to respond and they think they may upset them then they should not say it. Banter is for those that can take it as much as they give it.

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