TIP #3 SNITCHING V’S BULLYING
So, what is the difference? The main difference here is the intent.
- Trying to get someone in trouble or hurt them
- Looking for attention
- Done because you want to get your own way
- Telling when it is not bullying or important and could be handled by yourself
- Telling a parent/teacher/guardian about a situation that is dangerous.
- Looking out for your safety (both physical and emotional) of yourself and your peers when severely threatened
- Speaking up because something is really wrong; not because you want to get someone into trouble.
- when you can’t resolve the problem and need adult intervention
This is often difficult for kids especially as they get older. They often will NOT report something that SHOULD BE reported for fear of retribution from the bully as well as their peers.
My book How Polly Became a Pirate is being used in schools in Johannesburg, South Africa to help younger kids up to 12 years old get around the problem of ‘snitching’. At the end of each chapter, there is an interactive page where they can ‘talk to Polly,’ here they can say if they or anyone they know is being bullied and even draw a picture of what the bully looks like.
So far it has been successful in identifying bullies at schools because students don’t feel they are snitching, but rather chatting to Polly. Parents have also found this useful in identifying problems their children are having which they didn’t even know about. It is almost like writing a diary but to Polly.