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Should teens get in trouble for not "telling" on other teens?

This has happened a couple of times in the last few weeks. A parent has called here saying that our child knew that their child was doing something against their rules. These are not things that put the other child in physical danger (ex. cell phone use, talking to someone that they were told not to). I don't expect my children's friends to come tattling every time my children misbehave. I DO expect other adults to tell me if they observe my child doing something they know I don't approve of though (and I do the same). To the contrary if another child is doing or considering something that puts them in harms way I would expect my child to report that to a responsible adult.


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Asked by wahmoftwo at 8:38 PM on Jun. 28, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Level 7 (168 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • No,the rule of the playground is not to tattle on someone unless life depends on it. tattlers are ridiculed or beat up!

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 8:40 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • yes i think they should and should be incouraged to do so. especially if it's harmful to their health. but then again i look the other way when i know someone is doing something that will hurt themselves and is grown. but they're adults and have to pay for their actions.

    Answer by angevil53 at 8:40 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • I wouldnt punish my kids if they knew their friend was talking on the phone and didnt tell me. Depending on the type of person they werent supposed to talk to that would kind of vary that situation. I try to teach my kids not to tattle but also that they can talk to me about anything.

    Answer by Trotterswife at 8:42 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • tattling is one thing. keeping their peers safe is another.

    Answer by jennifer588 at 8:42 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • Unless it is life threatening, blood, drugs, alcohol, weapons we don't need to know everything.

    Answer by QandA at 8:43 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • It seems like some info is missing here.

    Answer by Mommy2mj at 8:45 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • IF their friend is doing something that will harm them, yes, let AN Adult (like their own parent and not the friend's parent) know what is going on.
    House rules, sorry, but I do NOT expect my children's friends to do my job and "police" my children. And that is what your child's friend's parents are asking her to do. NOT HER JOB!!! That is THEIR JOB!

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 8:46 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • No...

    Our state just passed a law called "Jennifer's Law," what it does is make knowing about a crime and not reporting it a crime itself... I am strongly against this law and don't feel it's a rule that we should push on anyone. I think we should impress on our child the importance of protecting others, but I also believe we should impress on them the importance of doing what THEY feel is right... If their conscious doesn't give them the push to tell, or if they are in fact given reasons not to tell (like they would then be in danger, or they would be breaking a deal or something) why should they be forced under threat of punishment?

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:48 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • This is all the info. The other parents called and said "my child had his phone taken away and was borrowing someone else's to text your child. She should have let me know." Parent #2 called and said "when is your daughter getting back from camp?" I asked why and he said "because she knew my daughter was dating ___ and wasn't supposed to be."

    I hate it when people make assumptions about other people's posts. It's really rude.

    Comment by wahmoftwo (original poster) at 8:49 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

  • It is not your childs job to police her friends, it is the parents job.

    However if there was illegal activity or something personaly dangerous to the freind then they should come to you...not the other parent. At that point it would be your responsibilty.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 8:53 PM on Jun. 28, 2010

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