Learning the difference between ribbing and teasing during friendly competition - ADHD Dude - Ryan Wexelblatt


Some of the guys I work with can be very competitive during games and many have a difficult time with competition, both with being a good winner and a good loser. (new Dude Talk video about being a good loser coming soon).

My 3rd grade (age 8) friend here is one who, at times has a difficult time with competition and losing. To his credit, he is getting much better.

One of the things that we recently worked on was discerning the difference between "ribbing" which I define as friendly competitive banter and teasing which has the intention of being mean spirited. This can be a difficult concept for kids with ADHD because it is so nuanced.

I have seen many kids be taught in social skills groups that they shouldn't do "ribbing" because it's not nice, rather they should only give their peers compliments and say nice things. I understand the intention with that however ribbing during competition is something that boys do regularly (both with boys and girls) and most boys do not regularly compliment other boys. That's breaking a "hidden rule" of male-male social communication when it's done incorrectly.

We had worked previously on him using his "brain filter" which is thinking about what others may think about what you say and discerning how to keep certain thoughts in your head and which to say out loud. Obviously for kids who are impulsive improving this skill takes many years. (Think about how many adults you've come across who don't use their "brain filter"!)

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