Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Telling and Tattling

Telling and Tattling

The difference between telling and tattling is very confusing. Not only do young children get confused about things they should tell about but also do adults.
First of all, telling is a positive act and should be encouraged. “Telling” can be defined as an act to protect oneself or others. It is done with the intention of protecting someone physically or psychologically; whereas “tattling” can be defined as talking which is idle. It is not done with the intention to protect, but it is focused on revealing the secrets of others or gossiping.
Why do people tell or tattle?

Certain reasons were identified about why people tell or tattle. It was seen that children tell because they feel that they are being hurt physically or psychologically and need help from elders as they can’t handle it themselves. Secondly, they tell because they tried to solve the problem but could not do it themselves. Thirdly, someone or the person himself might get hurt if no one intervened. However, children were observed to tattle when they wanted attention; they were angry with someone and wanted other people to get into trouble; they wanted to have the focus of people shift away from them, and lastly, they wanted to check if the rules had changed.
Why should telling be encouraged and tattling discouraged?

In our society, parents as well as teachers try to get involved in children’s business from the very beginning. Sometimes they encourage children telling them everything, but it has been seen that once the children get in the habit of telling everything, they sometimes complain about things which they themselves can handle without the help of the elders. This habit, if encouraged, turns them into adults who do not know how to handle their own problems. Sometimes telling is so discouraged that the child is punished for telling things which are unimportant. The children then stop telling about things which need to be told where intervention is required. Children as well as adults are discouraged from telling their problems to others and are called names like “tattletale” or “snitch.” This discouraging act, however, can do them a lot of harm as they are so scared of being ridiculed by peers and parents that they do not report physical abuse, sexual abuse, and any other life-threatening situations .
Thus the adults should learn the differences between telling and tattling and teach their children to differentiate between them too.

1.Telling is a positive act with the intention of protecting oneself or someone else from physical or psychological harm. 2.Tattling is a negative act to get more attention, to get the focus away from themselves, at times it is an idle act to bring trouble to someone because you are angry with them.
3.Telling should always be encouraged as it can teach a person to report the wrongdoing of a person which cannot be handled by someone on their own. Tattling should be discouraged as it makes a person not take care of their own problems and always depend on others.

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1 Comment

  1. I have a family member who always tattles on me. They are in their 60’s. Grow up people!!!!

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