Girl Laughing

Playground banter and jokes – do your children love them or hate themt? Are your children good at taking a joke or do they get upset when friends are ‘ribbing’ them? Some children find banter and jokes really hard to deal with as they take it personally. They are not meant to hurt anyone as they are intended to be playful conversations. If they do feel hurt we need to teach children 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’.

Taking A Joke And Giving 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 and jokes 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 is good at taking 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.