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What does 'dobbing' mean to you?


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#1 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:18 AM

My 7 year old has a very different view of what 'dobbing' means to me. To him 'dobbing' is if you tell on someone about something but what you say is a lie (definition obtained at school) and you do it to try and deliberately get someone into trouble. I think he has developed this understanding because this has happened to him at school

To me, dobbing is telling all the little stuff that doesn't need to be told. Perhaps with slightly malicious intent.

He just told me something and I told him to stop dobbing, and he was very offended because he reckons it is the same as accusing him of lying. I said no, I know you aren't lying, but it's not something you need to come running to me about either.

I can't get him to see that lying and dobbing are two different things.

Anyway, what's your definition? Are they using a new version at school these days?

Edited by Jemstar, 09 February 2013 - 09:19 AM.


#2 Fyn Angelot

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:24 AM

To me, dobbing is telling an authority about something which is true, so that the other person gets into trouble.  My definition makes no distinction as to whether this is a big or small thing, or should or should not be told.

#3 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:27 AM

Yes, that's a better definition Ange, and exactly what master 7 was up to despite his indignation!

#4 Floki

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:28 AM

Dobbing is -
"Miss, XXXX won't stop tuching my pencil"
"Miss, XXXX told me to go away"
"Miss, XXXX won't let me play with them"
"Miss, XXXX is looking at me"

"I'm dobbing on you" is another used when children don't like what is happening.

and every other perceived little injustice. I can be done maliciously to cause trouble but mostly harmless but nonetheless incredibly irritating to the majority of teachers lol

Dobbing/telling on people - all the same and nothing to do with lying as such.

That is not to say that "dobbing" is a bad thing in the right circumstances but being a "dob artist" isn't something most kids want to be saddled with.

Edited by Beautiful Warlock, 09 February 2013 - 09:30 AM.


#5 Julie3Girls

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:30 AM

I've taught my girls that dobbing is when you tell on people for little things that don't concern you and don't hurt anyone.  Often for the sole purpose of getting someone in trouble.

It's kind of a fine line, because there are times where I would want them to tell on people. The term "dobbing" is usually used as a negative, I've even heard people say to little kids "people don't like dobbers" to try and discourage kids from telling about little unimportant stuff.  So I wanted to make sure they know it is ok to tell on people sometimes.
So basically, if someone is doing something that is hurting someone (including themself), or if it something that involves my child directly, then, yes, telling an adult is a good idea. And then I worked on teaching them difference between the little stuff "x LOOKED at me!!"  And things that really do involve them and are worth reporting.

Edited by Julie3Girls, 09 February 2013 - 11:56 AM.


#6 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:34 AM

Yes, I also agree with you Julie, it is a fine line.

#7 FeralFerretOfDoom

Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:35 AM

QUOTE (Julie3Girls @ 09/02/2013, 10:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've taught me girls that dobbing is when you tell on people for little things that don't concern you and don't hurt anyone.  Often for the sole purpose of getting someone in trouble.

It's kind of a fine line, because there are times where I would want them to tell on people. The term "dobbing" is usually used as a negative, I've even heard people say to little kids "people don't like dobbers" to try and discourage kids from telling about little unimportant stuff.  So I wanted to make sure they know it is ok to tell on people sometimes.
So basically, if someone is doing something that is hurting someone (including themself), or if it something that involves my child directly, then, yes, telling an adult is a good idea. And then I worked on teaching them difference between the little stuff "x LOOKED at me!!"  And things that really do involve them and are worth reporting.


Agree with this. We are curretly trying to walk the fine line with dobbing, as both kids are doing it for every little thing and it drives me nuts. But obviously you don't want to stop them telling you about important stuff. It's a hard one.

#8 lafonda

Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:53 AM

My definition is the same as yours OP without the malicious intent

#9 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:56 AM

A quirky Aussie term that covers everything from minor tattle tales to reporting major crimes?


#10 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:03 PM

Ange's definition seems on the money.



I really noticed a difference in school culture between Australian students and English ones.

The CONSTANT dobbing in English (quite senior) classes used to send me completely doolally!  

I said as much to a class one day and was greeted with a "Well we isn't IN Australia now is we Miss!"

Sheesh... no wonder so many people were transported for seemingly minor infringments!  Bloody 18th century pommy dobbers!

#11 JuliaGulia

Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:08 PM

I agree with Julie.

It's hard to walk that fine line, because I really hate the whole "dobbing people in is un-Australian" bs that people like to spout.  It's important, but difficult to teach children to discern between the important things to speak up about, and the trivial nonsense.

#12 Fillyjonk

Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:09 PM

QUOTE (ForsakenTruth @ 09/02/2013, 12:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A quirky Aussie term that covers everything from minor tattle tales to reporting major crimes?


From my experience, yes. When I was in primary school "I'm dobbing on yoouuuuu" would be used to strike fear into the little heart of of a child who had simply been annoying or had punched someone in the head. Ie it wasn't just reporting petty things. Once we got past about yr 2 though, a bit of a stigma developed around being a dobber. Hence the rhyme "dobber dobber Cindy, you're in kindy!" I guess that reflects our convict pasts and disrespect for authority and all that.





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