Family jokes become life long insecurities

Amber Roth, Reporter

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Lia Becker

“Fat.”

“Ugly.”

“Stupid.”

There are two types of people in this world when they get called a name: those who brush it off and those who take it to heart. But when the teasing comes from a family member, those lines blur.

Families call each other names, it’s a normal thing. Most people have heard someone in their family being made fun of, or they themselves have done it to someone at some point in their life. But words can hurt, and they need to stop.
The experience that sticks with me the most is when I was in sixth grade. That was the year I started gaining weight, causing my self-esteem to fall.

Hearing my own father call me “fat” or “chubby” hurt me, even though I knew he was just joking. His words echoed in my mind one day in particular.

I was sitting on the floor in our living room wearing my favorite pair of jeans and when I stood up, I heard a rip. I looked down and there was a tear in my jeans on my left thigh.

In that moment, I felt like I was fat. I kept telling myself that they ripped because my legs were too big and that I was too fat to fit into skinny jeans.

It took me two years to finally realize that I was not fat. No matter what my family or anybody else says, I’m not fat or chubby.

I know my dad would never intend to hurt me, but his voice was always in the back of my head.

While I have been a victim of family teasing, I’ve also been guilty of doing it to my sister.

One time, I was helping my sister with her homework and after explaining a question to her, she still didn’t get it. Out of frustration, I called her stupid.

I realize now that it was the wrong thing to say. Instead, I should have asked her why she still didn’t get it and then help her understand the question better.

I know I’m not alone in this. Many people have been jokingly teased by their families and many of those same people have continued doing it to others. BUT, people need to realize that their words, no matter how they are intended, do stick.

A survey was given to 1,425 teenagers aged 14 to 18 who had attended weight loss camps. Out of the 361 people who filled it out, 37 percent of the teenagers who replied said they were bullied by their parents, according to healthyday.com.

Families are always teasing and joking around, but what they don’t realize besides that it can be hurtful, is that the behavior is learned. Children pick up the behavior from their parents and other relatives.

Families can help by watching what they say and instead of calling someone stupid when they don’t get a question, they can ask why they don’t get it and how they can help.

Avoiding calling family members names, especially the younger ones. It will affect help how they see themselves and help them later in life.