Menu Close

Bullying vs. Teasing

a teen can't tell if he is being healthily teased or ruthlessly bullied

The difference between bullying vs. teasing is a very thin line between harmless play and intentional harm. Teasing is a healthy form of social interaction where friends playfully cajole and harass each other in harmless play. Bullying is meant to dominate and ridicule someone with the intention of causing physical or emotional pain. If you suspect your child is being bullied, teen mental health care in Washington is available to help them cope with their feelings and learn healthy relationship and communication skills.

At Imagine Seattle, we provide effective outpatient treatment for teen boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 17 who are having trouble at school due to bullying. Teens will participate in group and one-on-one therapy with a behavioral therapist to help them understand their feelings and learn the difference between teasing vs. bullying. Reach out to our friendly staff today by calling 888.346.0473 or filling out our online form to learn how we can benefit your teen’s mental health development.

What Is the Difference Between Bullying vs. Teasing?

There are some key differences between teasing vs. bullying. Teasing is a healthy way for teens to learn to express themselves and interact with others. It is a common form of expression that can help build character and resilience and teach teens how to recognize when teasing has gone too far. Each child is different in how they respond to teasing, and when done appropriately, it can bring teens closer together and create a tight bond.

Healthy teasing can be very beneficial in forming healthy relationships. Through teasing, teens can:

  • Show interest in someone else
  • Understand what behavior is appropriate in different situations
  • Resolving conflict without escalating
  • Express frustration or disapproval in a healthy manner

What is bullying? Bullying occurs when someone intentionally says or does something to ridicule or harm another. It is often an outlet for teens who come from an abusive home or as a negative way to get attention. Examples of bullying include:

  • Pushing, hitting, or threatening violence
  • Ridiculing someone over their appearance or behavior in a harmful way
  • Pressuring them into risky behaviors such as substance abuse, stealing, or fighting
  • Spreading lies, rumors, or embarrassing stories online

At Imagine Seattle, we offer behavioral therapy for teens who are struggling at school because of bullying. We help them understand the difference between bullying vs. teasing and how to cope with any feelings they cause.

What To Do if Your Child Is Being Bullied

Is my child being teased or bullied? There is a thin line between healthy teasing and bullying, and some teens are able to understand the difference better than others. If you suspect your teen is being bullied, here are some steps you can take to help:

  • DO NOT confront the parents of the child who is bullying your son or daughter. This can only cause further harm and potentially violence if the parents react negatively to the accusation. Contact a school counselor or behavioral specialist to discuss options.
  • Remain calm when talking with your teen about being bullied. Getting upset or angry may cause them to withdraw and not open up around you.
  • Enroll them in a treatment center where they can talk about their feelings and develop healthy coping skills to benefit their development.

If Your Child Is Being Bullied, Choose Imagine Seattle for Our Safe and Effective Therapy Programs

If you fear your child is being bullied, there is help. Imagine Seattle provides teens aged 12-17 with outpatient treatment for depression or other mental health disorders. We understand how it can be difficult to know the difference between bullying vs. teasing and will work with your teen using a variety of behavioral therapies, such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Teen relationship counseling
  • Group and individual therapy
  • Family therapy

Give your teen the best chance of success by calling 888.346.0473 today if you suspect your child is being bullied at school.