Kid-to-Kid is all about kids helping each other. The suggestions in today’s column relate to the problem presented in September rather than the latest one in October. These ideas are from the fourth grade class at our local Lakewood Boys and Girls’ Club. For those who missed the column, here’s the problem:
I saw a friend take something that doesn’t belong to him. Should I tell or keep quiet so he won’t get into trouble? I don’t want this friend to be mad at me.
Arianna, age 11
Now, here are the suggested solutions.
Don’t be shy. Tell his parents or his teacher.
Alex, age 9
He should get into trouble with the teacher.
I would not tell because you don’t want him to get into trouble. A second reason why you shouldn’t tell is because you want to be friends with him. Another reason why I wouldn’t tell is because it will make him happy and young people let you slide. But another reason why is because I’m not a snitch.
Terrill, age 11
You should tell, but if you don’t want anybody to know, tell the person to not tell you told.
Anthony, age 9
I think you should tell on him.
Dyniece, age 9 1/2
You should tell an adult or a teacher if a person steals something from another person.
Abraham, age 10
I think you should tell the friend this it was wrong to take something that wasn’t his. If he doesn’t give it back, then tell his teacher or the person he took it from.
You can ask your friend to give it back to its owner or you can tell. There are other friends out there if he isn’t your friend anymore. I hope this works!
Monica, age 9
1. Tell someone about it.
2. Talk to your friend to get him to return the object.
3. Take the object from your friend and return it to the owner, then explain what happened.
4. Return the object and tell them it was a misunderstanding.
Kalyn, age 9
I would say, “Just tell” because no matter what, he did something wrong. But when you tell, remember he won’t know who told on him. He will get into trouble and if he gets mad at you anyway, just say, “So, I don’t care if you’re mad at me.” And if he says, “I’m going to beat you up,” just say, “I don’t care. No one is going to be your friend.” You could also say, “Stealing doesn’t make you cool, so just stop being bad or you’re going to be suspended someday. If you act right, maybe people will treat you right and be your friend.” That’s what I would say.
I would tell the teacher because if you didn’t know what the object was, it might be a bad tool that can cut. If this boy gets mad someday, he might cut someone, like in the head.
Angelicia, age 9
Thanks, fourth graders, for your comments. You’ve brought out several things that most kids are worried about when telling on a friend who has stolen. Readers, I hope you take time to discuss the ideas presented. What do you consider some strong ideas? Were there any ideas you wouldn’t try?
I can understand Arianna’s concern about losing her friend. No one likes that. Yet, Arianna wants to make a good choice for herself. She’s making an important decision that will help determine what kind of adult she’ll be.
When you talk over the suggested solutions, you might want to discuss these points:
- Will not telling allow the friend to think he got away with it and try stealing more?
- What if the next item he steals is more valuable and he gets into worse trouble? Would telling now be better for the friend?
- What does it mean to be a snitch? Is it always bad? When and when not?
- If someone threatens to beat you, what should you do?
- If you decide to take the item stolen and return it to the rightful owner, should you do that on your own or have an adult with you?
- What are some ways to make a new friend if you lose one?
To read more about Kid-to-Kid and its author, click here. To respond to any of the suggestions presented, email in c/o The Suburban Times at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2007 by Doris Hudson