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.

students role playing tattling vs telling

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.