She. Told.

Tattle (verb):  to utter idly; disclose by gossiping.

Confide (verb): to impart secrets trustfully; discuss private matters or problems

As parents we work really hard to teach our children not to tattle.  We don’t take pleasure in hearing the endless cries of “he hit me” or “she called me stupid”.  The monotony of it all just makes one want to jab an ice pick in their ear.  We try our damnedest to teach them the difference between tattling and confiding in someone your fears.  That telling just to get someone in trouble is not fair, but to confide in someone that you are afraid for someone else’s safety is so very important.

Eventually, after hearing MOOOOOOMMMM for the millionth time in twenty-four hours,  you give up all hope that they will ever learn the difference between the two.  You want to just throw your hands up and walk away.  Fighting a losing battle is just not on the agenda today.  You come to terms with your failure to teach them the difference.

Then the unthinkable happens and you realize that you have actually done something right.  That you might just be on the right path. That they actually were paying attention all this time.

Mom, Monica has been bullying Jennifer all year long.  Today it got really, really bad and Jennifer sent me an email at school and said she was going to go home and kill herself.  I was really scared.

Those are words you never want to hear from your eleven year old.  EVER.

So what did you do?

I told the teacher.

She told.

She told.

I can’t say it enough.   She. Told.

My eyes welled up as I thought about what happened in that one little class at our little school on this day.

Tears of fear as I looked at my daughter and saw the fear in her eyes.  Fear for her friend.  Fear that maybe she would become the next target.  Fear of being labeled as a tattle-tale.  A fear that I never want to see on my child’s face again. Fear of the “what-ifs”.

Tears of sadness as I thought about what the internet is doing to our kids.  Sad that they feel the need to hide behind a computer screen and beat each other down.   Sadness that they care so little for each other’s feelings.  Sadness that it now starts so young.  Sadness that they feel that suicide is the only answer.  The only way to make it stop.

Tears of relief as that wonderful teacher immediately took action.  Relief that no matter the sincerity of the email, it was treated as a very serious issue.  Relief that her friend told her.  Relief that my child was brave enough to tell someone who would take action. Relief that she felt comfortable enough to approach her teacher.  Relief that she. told.

Tears of hope as I realized that she is confident in herself.  Hope that she continues to stand up for what is right.  Hope that she sees that doing good is always better than the opposite.  Hope that she continues to keep her caring heart.  Hope that her friends see in her what I see in her.   Hope that she sees in herself what I see in her.

Tears of pride that she was brave enough to say something.  Pride that she loves her friend enough to look out for her.  Pride that she told not only the teacher, but me as well.  Pride that she did the right thing. Pride that she stood up against the hatred.  Immense pride.  So much pride that my heart swelled to twice its normal size.

While we are fairly certain that suicide was not really on the menu that day, there is no way of knowing for sure what was going through the mind of a middle school student adrift in a sea of hormones and the constant stream of hateful verbal (cyber) attacks.

What I do know is that she. told.

And I’m so thankful she did.

I'm so glad she did

I’m so glad she did







  1. This story made my heart swell with hope. Thank you. Ellen

  2. I wept with you for all the reasons you listed. Bra-freaking-vo! she told!

  3. I’m welled up with tears, too. I’m so, so happy this all went down the way it did. I must have said “Thank God” no fewer than 10 times while reading this.

  4. Goosebumps, I’m so glad your daughter did what she did and I hope you are able to give yourself a pat on the back for being such a good mom. I can only imagine how scary this situation was for her. What a strong girl. xo

  5. What a beautiful BEAUTIFUL child you raised! Well done Mama – I am SO proud of YOU! And so relieved for the child I don’t even know that reached out to a friend and was saved! Amazing things CAN happen!
    I hope my girls will be as strong some day to stand up for their friends and do the right thing!

  6. She. Told. God love her. And now I am crying. Good job mama. Awesome, awesome, awesome! <3 Devan

  7. I. Have. Goosebumps. What a brave little woman you are raising! You are doing something right, mama. xoxoxo

  8. She.told.
    What a wonderful thing you did to validate and value her words. She knows that she can come to you and that you will take action. She is a smart and brave girl…and lucky to have a mama bear like you.

  9. Bravo to your daughter. It took courage to tell and I hope that more of our children realize how important it is to exercise such bravery. It’s our job to make sure they do. Thank you for this important message Tara.

  10. I have nothing but admiration for you and for your daughter in the face of something so ugly. Thank God this was handled so beautifully, and I hope your daughter’s friend is healing knowing that she has so much support. And of course I hope that Monica knows her behavior will not be tolerated. I am so afraid for my children. What have we done to make them take cruelty to the extreme at such a young age?

  11. Speaks volumes for the type of person you both are. I hope the little girl that was so hurt, so sad that she felt her only option was to end it got some help. I can only pray that her family is as strong as yours.

  12. I’m in the process of having part of these lyrics painted on my daughter’s wall, and when I read this (fantastic) post, I thought of your daughter as well:

    Job well done, Mama. Hugs to your 11-year-old who has no idea how brave she really is. xo

  13. Johnny Depp – yum.
    Bulling sucks! I am going to push for my sons’ school to do more events centered around stoping bullying.
    I’m so happy she told.

  14. Fantastic!! You’re absolutely right in your pride of your girl, I know I would be. I will be showing this post to my kids tonight.

  15. Margarita says:

    As soon as my kids get home from school, I am going to read this blog with them ;)

  16. WONDERFUL!!!! Such a great feeling knowing that they DO listen and that you KNOW you’re doing your job well!! Kudos to her for telling. And kudos to you for teacher her to do the right thing!

  17. You and your daughter are what’s right in this world.

  18. Bravo to YOU for teaching her to do the right thing. You’ve taught her the difference in ‘tattling’ and ‘helping’.

    Kids have it much tougher than we ever did and much tougher than I think we do today. They face huge hurdles at 11 that I have yet to face at 44.

    You’re a supreme mom for raising such a balanced little girl. And she’s passing that on to her friends and others.

  19. She told.
    too much of this going around – our kids need to know it’s okay to tell.
    Love this!

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