Did you know that tattling is just another form of bullying? Yes it is. Write that down. Tattoo it on your arm. Yell if from the roof of the school (but be prepared to get into big trouble when the tattle tells on you).
Most parenting sites are kinder and gentler than I am on this issue. They say the tattletale is to be protected because they are fragile and need the extra attention (they never mention the word brat). I say the young tattles often learn bad behavior from their parents who encourage tattling and gossip. The two go hand in hand.
My kids and their friends come home with tales of tattlers. Wait…I thought kids stopped tattling around age 8. Some don’t. Ugh. One more thing kids have to deal with.
Tattling as a teen shows a sign of immaturity.
Tattling is also is a sign of intolerance.
Tattling is wrong.
I’m not talking of safety issues, such as drug use, guns and or a telling an adult about a teen who might be into self-harm or talking about harming another. I’m talking about the petty back stabbing tattling that a few teens do. These kids have to narc on other kids about everything from chewing gum, to cell phone use, to passing notes in class (because you can’t use your phone), to wearing too much black and other non-issues.
Groups of mean girls (and boys too) will tattle on the same kid over and over and over for any minor thing. They’ll do it until the kid they’ve chosen as their prey ends up frozen like a deer in the headlights afraid to move…just standing still so the bullies can go in for the kill. It happens.
Tattlers are habitual about what they do. They mean to cause harm to others. Tattlers get off by finding fault in others. If they can prove to an adult that another kid is doing something wrong the tattler thinks she has proven herself a better teen. And most are self righteous to a fault about their tattling.
I make it a rule not to talk of religion… but at the high school several well known tattlers use the veil of religion to justify their spiteful behavior. They need the constant affirmation that they, through their piety, are better than the other kids.
This is not reflective of most religious kids. Please make note of that. It just reflects on a few kids my kids go to school with. It might reflect on some kids your kids go to school with.
Since I’m a horrible person I’ve commented that there is a special place in Hell for people like that. The reason I say that is that I see teen tattling as a form of bullying (yes, I’m saying it again) and so is religious intolerance (of kids who are not exactly like them).
I have often explained to my children that faith is not about how one dresses, the music one listens to, what one reads for fun or what one eats. It isn’t how much time one spends in church. To me the message of Jesus was the message of tolerance and acceptance. He accepted people of all faiths, nationalities and I believe, if his original words had been kept, had accepted the equality of men and women. It was about love and taking care of others – and by taking care of others I don’t mean shitting on them by being a tattle.
Anyway, these few kids tattle about everything. What they don’t realize is that once in high school they must put aside their childish ways and learn to:
- Accept others even if they are different.
- Learn that the business of others is none of theirs.
- Keep his or her mouths shut unless someone is in risk of harm.
- Get attention through positive actions such as playing their guitar at lunch or telling G rated jokes.
- Be nice for a change.
- Teachers don’t need the constant annoyance of your tattling. Let teachers TEACH.
A tattle is happy to ruin the life of someone else. They’re happy with half-truths and lies. They’re happy to spout out words and never think of the consequences for others. They don’t think of lasting damage their words might do to others.
Tattling Teens are SO UNCOOL. And nobody wants to be around a tattle. Teens need to be encouraged by their families, friends and teachers to seek attention in POSITIVE ways – and tattling is not positive in any way shape or form.
I also advise my kids to stay clear of tattlers. Just stay away from them. They’re like skunks – and we all know what skunks do. But if you have a friend who tattles PLEASE tell them that they need to stop and why they need to stop.
As a whole, Vampire teens are raised to be well behaved, accepting and make an effort to support others. They have a good sense of humor, know how to flirt without teasing or hurting, and they know how to make friends and keep them. It is a matter of survival, because face it, it is easier to get close, and I mean really close, to someone if they like you than if they’re afraid of you. That said, we should all make it our goal to be nice.
I’m glad to say my children are much better people that I ever was (or ever will be but I’m working on it).
So I guess the moral of this story is to be more like a Vampire! Make people want to be near you! Really near.
You can’t always be nice. Believe me, you can’t, or at least I can’t. But it would be great, wouldn’t it?
When I was in the 8th grade, I had a friend who was quick to criticize me for not going to church, for not praying. She always knew what sort of “trouble” other kids were up to and quick to tell her grandparents (who she lived with part of the year and they lived down the street from me, which is how I met her) anything and everything other people did that she thought they shouldn’t. It was quite a lesson for me when she was caught stealing jewelry from my house. It was even the girl’s grandmother who knew immediately what her granddaughter had done and who turned her in.
We were no longer friends.
Thank you for sharing this. Some things never seem to change. Sigh.
yes! Tattling is an ugly trait…and one wonders what children who do this (when they should be lost in the imagination of all-things-child) will grow up to look like!
Good point. They’ll either grow up and out of it or…I don’t want to even imagine. We’ve all met those unhappy people.
Tattling fulfills a child’s need to be heard and for belonging. Adults should strive to fulfill this need. Unfortunately, many adults hear the tattling and percieve it as a request to fix things. I have found that the simple question to the tattler, “Are you just telling me this to tell someone or do you want me to do something about it?” allows the child to be heard and often the issue stops there. When they ask for something to be done, I work with them on ways to resolve the issue themselves. I don’t always remember to do this, but I try.
I understand little kids often don’t know the difference and are looking for belonging – but many teen tattlers do it for control and with the intention to hurt. At least that is how other teens see it. I’ve been hearing a lot about this from the teens in my life. They complain and make snarky remarks about the mean spirited tattlers who act like bullies. By the time kids are teens they should have grown out of it.
What most tattlers don’t realize is what they are doing to themselves, as well as those around them. A lot of people need to read this J. Good stuff.
I HATE bullying!! It’s cruel!
Thanks for sharing this!!
Me too. It comes in so many forms but in the end it is all just mean.
Thank you so much for posting this article. My husband and I like to call these kids “tattle bullies”. This is exactly what happened to our child at his last school and it seems like he’s a magnet for this type of behaviour at his new school. It’s so sad. As a parent, you feel so helpless. It got so bad at his last school that six kids accused our child of assault. They interviewed all the children individually and they all had different stories. The children were not reprimanded and the parents were not made aware that they made these false accusations.