How Do You Handle Tattling?
If you have more than one small child in a room, there is going to be tattling at some point, whether or not they are siblings.
Is it something you should discipline for? Should you ignore it? Should you encourage it?
Well, generally it is a move designed to get favored over the other child, pure and simple. The thing is, there are times when it is important for a child to tattle, like if another child is exhibiting dangerous behavior.
It is important to teach that there is balance between just trying to get someone in trouble and allowing a bad situation to play out. This is how I have handled tattling in the past, and with eight kids I promise I have experience in it.
If it is a ridiculous thing, like Fred put the green block where the red block should be, then let your child know that that isn’t something that he should tattle about and let it go.
Ask your child to try to work it out themselves if it is a normal type of conflict. Do not get involved unless it escalates.
Dangerous or serious situations should be handled immediately, and the tattler should be commended for knowing when to tell an adult and when not to.
It is a really common behavior, especially up to about age seven or eight. If it continues after that point, I usually begin to discipline the tattler by giving them a time out or something like that.
How do you handle tattling at your house?