Today, we talked about how we might get angry with somebody when they falsely accuse us of doing things we haven’t done or saying things we haven’t said. This frustration comes from knowing how important it is to tell the truth, and the fact that they are not telling the truth. We are beginning to understand that this frustration is real, and born out of a feeling of powerlessness.
When someone knows how to push our buttons, it can feel like they’re pulling a string and watching us spin like a top. If we understand this dynamic, then we can reclaim our power by using humor or simply walking away from all the baiting. This leaves the bully powerless.
When those same people say that they won’t be our friends and won’t invite us to parties if we go and tell our parents, then that is a red flag that indicates that we must go and tell our parents. This, by the way, is not tattling. When our children need our assistance and guidance, and we turn them away empty-handed, as it were, because we tell them not to tattletale, then we are missing a crucial opportunity to help our children navigate through challenges. By coming to us, they are communicating that these challenges are too difficult for them to navigate through on their own.
The rule of thumb I always teach children is that if something is happening to themselves or others that is harmful, either physically or emotionally, it is absolutely appropriate and imperative that they share this information with an adult such as a parent or teacher. This way, we can help teach our children how to discern when something falls into the category of important to tell, and when it does not.