Since Florence has moved on from infant school up to Junior school, you can really notice a difference within her whole school year.
They’ve all grown up so much. It’s bittersweet watching all of them flourish into bigger children. But one thing, I’ve noticed a lot (Not all) of them doing is : not telling teachers, friends, parents about other children doing or saying ‘naughty’ things.
“Snitches get stitches” Flo said to me the other day. “Um… I don’t think so I don’t like that phrase!” I replied. Of course she had probably heard it from another child at school. Maybe one of the older kids in the years above, and no, I don’t think a child would actually mean the stitches part! But, the message hiding behind that phrase, doesn’t sit well with me.
How am I supposed to help my daughter out if she doesn’t tell me what’s on her mind?
How am I supposed to be there for her, when I have no idea as to what’s going on?
How are Flo’s teachers, friends, and family supposed to support and care for her, if she doesn’t tell any of us what has happened?
“Don’t be a dobber” is another saying that was thrown around at my school. It was the ‘uncool’ thing to do. Telling on someone, made you a nerd. Or a teachers pet.
And unfortunately, this sort of ‘not telling’ behaviour continues into adulthood.
When it comes to teaching our children lessons in life, we tend to contradict ourselves a lot. At home I’ll say things like “oh come on Flo, Rex is young leave it alone” when she’s trying to tell me about him doing something wrong. And that is totally wrong of me, and we’ve recently talked it out. I apologised to her. Children hearing adults are wrong sometimes is important. I won’t do it again.
In the future, if something bad ever happened to Florence, (hopefully not *crosses all fingers and toes*) I’d want her to have the courage to tell me. I’d want her to speak out against the other person. I’d want her to be brave enough to know that telling someone the truth, no matter how scary, no matter how much the other person threatened her, it would be the right thing to.
I feel like this attitude of children ‘telling’ on others is damaging for everyone. If your child is doing something bad or naughty at school. Don’t assume the other child is just ‘telling tales’ address the situation calmly and listen to both sides. The person speaking up, isn’t necessarily the bad guy.
Throughout my childhood I was raised to keep my mouth shut. I kept my mouth shut about a lot of emotional and physical abuse that myself and other people endured. I don’t want my children ever thinking that way, is the only way. Because it simply isn’t.
I’m 27 now, and I still don’t have the courage to speak about some things. That’s not healthy. And no one deserves to feel that way.
Let’s not bottle things up. Let’s talk and speak out. Let’s call out inappropriate behaviour. Let’s scream this out, especially to our girls. And let our sons know, that girls are human beings with feelings, just like them.