Teaching kids the difference between ‘tattling’ and ‘telling’
Another school year has begun and parents are again faced with the emotional strain that a school year brings. Parents are dealing with their children being away at school for most of the day, and then homework and extracurricular activates fill the rest of the week. It is sometimes difficult for parents to spend much time with their kids. It is important to remember that quality time is more important than the quantity of time we spend with our kids.
Kids will experience a lot when they are at school and during extra curricular activities. Some kids may experience bullying, dating violence, harassment, and other forms of violent behavior. Others may not be the target of violent behavior but, they may witness these types of behaviors toward their friends or others.
Many mental health experts agree that kids who witness school violence can experience the same emotional and physical effects as the targeted victim. They may worry they will be targeted next or they may stress over not knowing how to help the victim.
Ohio law requires all schools to have a system to report bullying and most have a system to anonymously report other types of school violence, however; most kids never report what they witness. They do not think anything could be done about what they witnessed and others do not report because they have been taught not to tattle on others.
Parents need to make time to talk to their kids about their experiences at school. If your child indicates he or she has witnessed some form of school violence, it is important to encourage them to report the incident to school administrators, counselors, or the school resource officer. Kids need to understand that tattling is telling on somebody for a very minor infraction for the sole purpose of getting that person in trouble and reporting is telling when there is a chance someone could be hurt. Regret over not telling is always more difficult to deal with than telling someone. Encouraging kids to report school violence will help keep our kids safe both physically and emotionally.
Keeping Our Kids Safe is brought to you by the Delaware Police Department and School Resource Officer Rod Glazer.