What should Christians teach kids about "tattle-tailing"?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by TexasSky, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    Recently, in another thread someone made the comment that it was wrong to report someone's illegal or immoral behavior to authorities, citing that their mother had taught them not to tattle on their siblings.

    I disagreed with their mother. I believe Christian parents need to teach children to be accountable, and that we need to teach children to turn to adults for help when situations are out of control.

    The headline in today's paper brought that home to me today.

    I live in a small city with a small town attitude. Though the population is over 200,000, most people know each each other. The Mayor of our city is the sun of a wealthy real estate agent. He was active in a conservative church in our city, and he was supported for election by the Christian Coalition.

    On June 11, 2005, a group of teenagers went out to a place kids in this town go "mudding" in their all terrain vehicles. One boy in the group overdosed on ecstacy. The boy, age 16, died on June 12, 2005 from ecstacy poisoning. It sounds simple enough. However, the rest of the story makes it very clear that if kids had not been afraid to tattle - this boy might be alive.

    1) Approximately 16 teenagers report that the boy who died received the drugs from Mayor's 16 year old son. As parents were going, "I can't believe this," kids all over town were going, "Oh, everyone knew he was a supplier. They just didn't want to tattle." Even kids who didn't do drugs came forward too late to say, "That's why I wouldn't go to that party at his house. I knew he supplied drugs to kids."

    2) The night the child died, he took the drug, they think around 7:30 p.m., then went to the gathering place and began to have serious problems indicating a medical emergency. Not one teenager in this group called a parent for help because they didn't want to get themselves or anyone else in trouble. They DID call a local doctor, who, it now turns out, had a reputation for letting kids do this kind of thing on his property. The doctor, kids now tell authorities, would say, "I'd rather that if you get drunk or get high you do it where someone can help you than run off and hide."

    When the boy was in obvious distress, his friends threw him into a car and drove him to this doctor. 1/2 the group wanted to take him to the ER. They were over ruled. They left, but they told no one what was happening.

    The doctor recommended cold showers. The group tried it, then the doctor claims he told the kids to take their friend to the ER. The kids did not. They dumped him in the fairway of a gold course.

    The doctor "didn't want to get the mayor's son in trouble."

    The kids didn't want to get themselves or the mayor's son or the now deceased boy in trouble.

    One teen made an anonymous call to EMS, notifying them of the situation, but could not or would not give an exact location of the boy.

    By the time EMS found him, though he was alive. It was too late.

    Now, one child is dead. One child faces charges for distributing a controlled substance, along with numerous charges related to the death of the young man. Another faces charges as an accessory to everything. Seven other children face charges for not rendering aid, for contributing to his death by moving him around without getting medical help, and several other charges. The doctor faces charges.

    All of this could have been stopped, all those lives and futures could have been saved if someone, anyone, had taught their children, "Talk to me. Even if it feels like tatteling."

    Don't teach your kids it is wrong to talk to authorities and parents. Teach them to trust you.
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv
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    I'm in agreement with you.

    "Tattling" is when you tell on someone for the purpose of wanting to get them in trouble. Properly telling is when you tell on someone because you are seeing a moral wrong that you don't think should be allowed.
     
  3. Rachel

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    TS, you would think that would be common sense wouldn't you? Very sad. :(
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    I'm in agreement with you.

    "Tattling" is when you tell on someone for the purpose of wanting to get them in trouble. Properly telling is when you tell on someone because you are seeing a moral wrong that you don't think should be allowed.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Agreed. I was always taught that a tattle tale was more like a busy body who is constantly looking for a reason to tell on someone and trying to get you in trouble. That should be avoided.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  5. RightFromWrong

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    I also agree
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    You have to help children understand this at an early age.

    When we have young children at recess come to us and "report" something, we investigate it regardless.

    If it turns out to be nothing, then I generally take the child who tattled and have a talk with him or her.

    I go over these steps.

    1) Did you tell on that other child because you wanted to get him or her in trouble or did you feel that something bad was happening and you needed to tell the duty teacher?

    2) If he says that he wanted to get the other child in trouble (and they WILL admit it, folks!) then we discuss why that's not the right thing to do.

    3) If he says that he sincerely thought something bad was happening, then we discuss why that THIS time there was no need to report to the duty teacher.

    If it was something that needed an adult's attention, then I thank the child in private for telling me. It takes courage on a child's part to tell sometimes. I don't, however, make him feel like I just gave him the J. Edgar Hoover junior FBI award. It promotes a "sneakiness" in children when you reward them for being an "informer".

    I never discourage a child from telling the duty teacher anything. But constant "tattling" generally tells me that the problem is with the tattler and not the other child or children.

    Children should never be told to not tell. What they should be taught is how to distinguish the following:

    a) something an adult needs to be told soon (TELL IMMEDIATELY!)
    b) something that the child can handle himself with Christ-like manners (THINK FOR YOURSELF!)
    c) something that is none of the child's business(DON'T BE NOSEY!)

    When a child is learning these concepts, he or she will make errors in judgement. That is what guidance from a parent, teacher, pastor, or other adult in charge is for.

    Sometimes, even junior high students have to be taught these lessons. And do I dare say some adults do too?

    Peace-
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  7. Rachel

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    Yes, adults too. lol
    Good advice there.
     
  8. Thankful

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    Thank you Scarlett O. for posting those wise guidelines.

    This is very helpful to me as I am working with my 8-year old granddaughter who seems to "tattle" on her 14 year old brother all the time. Sometimes, she should really be on "his" side. I am going to print your post and put it to very good use.
     
  9. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    Scarlett,

    These are wonderful guidelines!
     

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