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Tattling Versus Reporting

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by Rihana, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    As a child, I was a good girl. A very good girl. And hence, often the class-monitor -- a position that I held for the entire school year. If the teacher needed to go to the staff room, to the library or to talk with her love-interest, she made me stand at the front of the class, gave me a chalk to write on the black-board the names of students who talked during her absence.

    To my future chagrin, I obliged with sincerity. I stood by the teacher's table and watched 40 classmates, who gazed back at me with resignation or loathing. Every two minutes, a name made it to the blackboard.

    The teacher essentially had me tattle on my classmates. And thanked me for my efforts.

    Decades later, during a parent teacher conference with my child's elementary school teacher in the U.S. of A, I got a crash course in tattling versus reporting. Never mind why I was served the course.
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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Tattling versus Reporting

    Children are encouraged to tell a parent, teacher or another if they are victims of bullying or witness another child being bullied. However, children are also discouraged from tattling. What is the difference between tattling and reporting? This was one key distinction I had to learn myself before I worked on that with my child. Next to mastering digraphs and diphthongs for phonics, this tattling /reporting difference was the trickiest American funda to understand.

    Chinta nakko. Worry not. The internet is here naa! You can click on a menu option and get the difference between the two: Telling vs. Tattling - Gundersen Health System

    Reporting - trying to get someone out of trouble.
    Tattling - trying to get someone into trouble.

    Reporting:
    • The child telling wants to keep themselves or others safe.
    • The child telling is concerned about safety.
    • The problem is important and urgent.
    • Someone may be hurt or in danger.
    • An adult is needed to help solve the problem.
    Tattling:
    • The child tattling wants to get someone else in trouble or avoid blame.
    • The child tattling may have something to gain, such as attention or popularity.
    • No one is hurt or in danger.
    • It is not an important problem and can be solved without an adult.
    • The child threatens to tell on another in order to control the other child.
    The teacher encouraged me to discuss with my child that it was not my child's job or place to help the teacher discipline the students. In retrospect, I realize that teachers must have to deal with parents who come from cultures that view tattling as a helpful reporting.

    I asked the teacher, "If a student is wasting paper, my child should not tell you that?"

    The teacher replied, "Yes. That need not be brought to my attention."

    We went on to become friends, the teacher and I, and I still go visit her in school and the occasional coffee meeting.
    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
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  3. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    Reporting and Tattling education in preschool and primary school is good foundation for ethical behavior in later life. Nice #2 post, good #1 backstory.
    Quite a lot of tangential thoughts ought to come out of this thread.
    • The concept of "Honor among thieves" requires no member of a cabal squeal (tattle?) on the organization/syndicate/cosa_nostra(our thing/scheme).
    • Prosecutors depend on the argument of "greater good for the society" or the more common "lesser personal misfortune" to get members of the cabal accept a plea-bargain to squeal in a court of law.
     
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  4. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    That's true. I came from a background where tattling was encouraged, welcome and got me positive rewards like approval from adults. Or more accurately, both were viewed as setting wrong to right and helping the wrongdoer realize his wrong, and helping the enforcer maintain the required behavior. There was no concept of any difference between tattling and reporting.

    Learning the difference between them remains an ongoing process. I like the questions little children are told to ask themselves when deciding if a thing needs to be told to the teacher.
    Thank you. Teachers at our school did do a lot of educating the parents about America and its ism's. And they did it with enviable tact and smoothness.
    "Cabal Squeal" reminds me of thing2's conundrum from last week. Classmates are planning to collaborate when taking the midterm exam online. Thing2 left the Discord group immediately after such plans came up in the discussion. The dilemma is -- if the students do carry out those plans and cheat, should the instructor be provided info such as names of the students so he can compare their answers or something.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
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  5. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    The teacher probably knows that some students might have help-lines they'd call.... like in "Kaun banega Crorepati?". Leaving the group, when easy to do, is the best choice.

    This dilemma would be life long, because most of us would be employed in organizations, i.e., groups of people collaborating towards some goal -- and most everybody of some consequence in the organization has to agree on the means to get there. The total cost of whistleblowing, should that be necessary, could be daunting for regular people. Thoroughly vetting a group (like a company one would join for employment) before joining it would be a safe strategy.

    "If you see something, say something" is also an -ism that the government pushed for a while. And lots of people saw mirages, and reported them. The tanned man, sitting next to her on an airplane, had a suspiciously dark and curly hair, was talking foreign, and writing symbols on his napkin -- she got the feeling that she was seeing something, and she reported it.
     
  6. Minion

    Minion Platinum IL'ite

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  7. nayidulhan

    nayidulhan Silver IL'ite

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    Thanks a million for this thread, dear Rihanna. This is such precious information that I implore all parents here to learn and inculcate as well as explain to their children. This one thing can save so much unnecessary bitterness and pain too in the future.

    It would have been nice if the kids were talked to about this in school but we mothers are their first teachers. So the responsibility is largely ours. :)
     
  8. nayidulhan

    nayidulhan Silver IL'ite

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    @Rihanna, I know for sure that you are one dedicated mom. Your kids are lucky to have you for the mother as well as for their anchor in life. God bless your family. :)

    I am not so frequent here on IL (as much as I would love to be) to seek advice but whenever I face a parenting or a social issue I always wonder how you would handle it. I think I have already told you this before and I love to reiterate it umpteen times as that helps me express again my gratitude for your distinguished presence here and also for your wise words shared here. Thank you, Rihanna! :)

    Also, I love to read posts by @hrastro. Her posts are educative and informative. :)
     
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