Tattling vs. Telling: Child Culture

Children are discouraged from “tattling”, by their peers and sometimes by adults. The same changes in school culture – at an individual, group and systemic level – are necessary to encourage elementary school children to seek adult help when they cannot resolve a bullying situation on their own.

The following definition can enable children (and adults) to differentiate between tattling, and telling to get help.

Tattling vs. Telling

  • Tattling: Tattling is telling on someone in order to get them in trouble.
  • Telling: Telling is getting help when you or someone you know is being hurt, or when your rights or their rights to be safe, strong, and free, are being taken away.