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I need advice on dealing with tattling...


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not actually my own children. They don't tattle and the know I hate it more than just about anything else. It's one of my absolute biggest pet peeves. So here's the problem: my nieces and nephew are horrible tattlers. They tattle on my children constantly (and their mother perpetuates it). She actually told my nephew to call her whenever my son wasn't playing nicely when they stayed together at my mother's house (they are 7 years old).

 

So, I need suggestions on what to do when they tattle on my son. I feel like I have to do something or she will be angry with me, but I just want to scream! I have had discussions with my son about behaving himself when he's with them because they tattle, but kids will be kids and they won't always be perfect.

 

Thanks in advance! We are supposed to go camping with all of them in a few weeks and I know I'm going to blow my top if I don't have a good plan in place.

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I would simply tell the child that I don't listen to tattling when they're trying to get someone else into trouble and suggest they try to work it out themselves. Now, if they want to tell me something that will get a child out of trouble, that's a whole different ball of wax. If it turned out my child was acting like a booger, I'd talk to him discretely as soon as I could.

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It sounds like the nieces/nephews are tattling to their mom, not to the aunt.

 

It's a combination...usually what happens is that they tattle to their mom loudly in front of me (the aunt), and then I get "the look."

 

And I want to add, I'm not a lazy mom...I handle things when they need to be handled, and I know my ds is not perfect. When I know he's doing something he shouldn't I correct him (in front of the others, if necessary), so it's not like I am just letting him run wild.

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I don't know if you have the kind of family that you can really joke around with but my dh does something funny with the soccer team he coaches that might work if the atmosphere is acceptable. The kids on the team (9yos) know that they aren't allowed to tattle on other kids unless there's the threat of physical harm. To remind them he has taught them, "Snitches end up in ditches." So, when one of the boys runs up to tattle, my dh just has to say, "What happens to snitches?" And the kid busts up laughing and goes about his business.

It may sound weird to some but it was started in such a joking atmosphere (and we're friends with all the parents on the team) that it's worked for us. This way it's not harping or nagging but a funny reminder that tattling is not appreciated.

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I deal with tattling by telling the child that they don't need to do my job for me - that of watching my children. But this is predicated on the fact that I do see that as my job. I would not tolerate my 7 year old not playing nicely. My 7 year old is not perfect by any means but I do expect her to be able to play nicely with friends and family. And I would be listening/watching so that there would not be the need for tattling since I would be dealing with it right then.

 

ETA: I did see your last post above - after I posted. So please don't look at this as being snarky or anything. That is not the intent!

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I deal with tattling by telling the child that they don't need to do my job for me - that of watching my children. But this is predicated on the fact that I do see that as my job. I would not tolerate my 7 year old not playing nicely. My 7 year old is not perfect by any means but I do expect her to be able to play nicely with friends and family. And I would be listening/watching so that there would not be the need for tattling since I would be dealing with it right then.

 

ETA: I did see your last post above - after I posted. So please don't look at this as being snarky or anything. That is not the intent!

 

No problem...I don't tolerate it, either.

 

Maybe some concrete examples of the tattling situations would be helpful:

"Aunt Cindy, S is standing on the chair in the basement." (not something explicitly allowed or forbidden, and not really dangerous, IMO)

"Aunt Cindy, S took the car away from M."

 

DS does have some bossiness issues, which we are actively working on and we prepare before getting together. He's actually very open to doing things a different way if we deal with it in a healthy way. He just hates being tattled on all the time and gets really angry with the nieces (mainly) and then things go downhill really fast.

 

I hate to feel like I have to hover over them all the time...they should be allowed to play on their own sometimes, KWIM?

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Kalah, I get jokes :lol:

 

 

 

Tattling is one of those things I'm unsure about. I would wonder at the NEED to tattle so MUCH (what could my ds be DOING????).

 

If the child is running to his mom, then let his mom handle it. I wouldn't butt in or anything, besides making you look defensive (and arguing with a child), it would also be stomping on your sister's toes. If it's a really huge problem, then don't let them play together alone.

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I agree with lionfamily...if he tattles to YOU, you could say something like, "what day is it?" "monday" "OH, we don't tattle on mondays!" My friend did that with her 2nd graders when she taught school and it was a joke/gentle reminder for the kids.

 

For my own, I ditto what others say about not telling me unless there is bodily harm and not to do my job for me (their job is to be a friend and play nicely, my job is to tell what someone is supposed to be doing).

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If your sister encourages it or doesn't have the same parenting philosophy, I'm not sure there is an easy way to handle it.

 

I have a group of friends that gets together frequently with kids. Typically we would handle the kind of things you mention by telling the tattler to try and deal with the situation. So for "S took M's car." I would say something like "Why don't you ask him to give it back? or Can you try and work it out between the two of you?" For something like "S is standing on the chair" if it's not something I would normally care about I'll just say "That's fine." But most of my friends are also big believers in letting the kids work things out themselves.

 

If we're hearing repeatedly that one kid is not sharing or misbehaving we would certainly intervene but for the most part we try and encourage them to work together. I think you have to use parental sixth sense and just try and tell when the tattler is really upset or a situation requires intervention and when it's just that they are being petty and trying to get the other person in trouble for minor stuff.

 

BUT...if your sister feels differently I'm not sure if that is going to work without her getting angry. You could just talk to your son about how Auntie has different rules and that you might have to tell him to stop doing things that would be ok normally. We've run into that with our own family members where they get upset with things I am ok with. I've just told ds that x behavior is ok but if Auntie is here it's not because we have to respect her feelings.

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There's some less than forthright and mutually respectful interactions between the adults in question.

 

There's your Sister/sister-in-law (Sis), Mother (Grandma), and you. Now why on earth does Sis need her son to report your son's behavior while your son is at Grandma's house? What a tangle!

 

Why can't the tattler tattle to Grandma? If your son's behavior is not good, why can't Grandma handle it? If Grandma can't, why not you?

 

If it makes sense for the nephew to call his mother about your son's behavior at Grandma's house, then nothing else about the situation makes much sense at all.

 

I'd unravel this communication & mutual respect issue between yourself, Sis and Grandma, then address the tattling. My guess is that the nephew's oddball communication strategy you describe is a symptom of a more significant interpersonal issue between adults.

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There's some less than forthright and mutually respectful interactions between the adults in question.

 

There's your Sister/sister-in-law (Sis), Mother (Grandma), and you. Now why on earth does Sis need her son to report your son's behavior while your son is at Grandma's house? What a tangle!

 

Why can't the tattler tattle to Grandma? If your son's behavior is not good, why can't Grandma handle it? If Grandma can't, why not you?

 

If it makes sense for the nephew to call his mother about your son's behavior at Grandma's house, then nothing else about the situation makes much sense at all.

 

I'd unravel this communication & mutual respect issue between yourself, Sis and Grandma, then address the tattling. My guess is that the nephew's oddball communication strategy you describe is a symptom of a more significant interpersonal issue between adults.

 

 

Well, you hit that nail on the head. Yes, there are some problems in the adult world (my SIL has very different ideas about parenting and rules are quite different from mine and my mother's). My mother was very upset when she realized the phone-calling thing was happening and was happy to help the boys work things out themselves, which they did marvelously: ds and dn were having problems working out who got to choose what to play. They decided to make a list of the things each wanted to do, then ds let dn go first. It all ended quite well, thanks to my mom. That's what I like to see and what I work toward. My kids are taught to try once to work things out, then come and get me if there is a problem. Their kids are taught to tell first, and are not encouraged to work it out. So I feel like I have to discipline ds in order to keep peace, but then I feel like I'm not being fair to ds (although, sometimes he does need the time to cool off or help to work out a problem, which I'm fine with)... And the tattling is generally one-sided, my kids usually only come to me if there is a problem they cannot fix themselves, or if someone or something is hurt...

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I ditto what others say about not telling me unless there is bodily harm and not to do my job for me (their job is to be a friend and play nicely, my job is to tell what someone is supposed to be doing).

 

 

Is it Broken, Bloody or Barfing is my phrase. I also try to teach them to words. 'J took the toy from me' Did you ask J to give it back to you? Um, no. Well, why don't you ask him to give it back.

 

I have a 7 yr old who does the same thing. She will LOUDLY tell her sister to NOT do something. The whole time looking at me. She's now starting to lose tokens for that. It is subliminal tattling. And it's usually just something she's not ahppy with, not a punishable offense. :glare:

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When I was teaching 2nd grade, this was rampant. Some kids just see everything as a 2 sided issue with their way the right way. A much older, experienced teacher shared this with me and I use it with my own kids today:

 

When a child came to tattle she would ask, "Is he hurting you? Is he hurting someone else? Is he in a dangerous situation? Is he damaging property?" If the answer was "no" then she would just say, "It sounds like this is something you can work out on your own." and then send the child away, sometimes with another suggestion "Maybe if you say x then y will happen." Or she would remind the child that sometimes it is ok for different people to play differently with the same toys. She did include teasing in the "hurting you" category and would address issues thatwere very serious like stealing and such, or if a problem escalated.

 

But I don't know what will help if your SIL is even wanting him to call her just to tattle. Goodness. If that is the best way for him to get her attention I have no doubt he will find lots of fault with your child just os he can get mommy sympathy and attention.

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No problem...I don't tolerate it, either.

 

Maybe some concrete examples of the tattling situations would be helpful:

"Aunt Cindy, S is standing on the chair in the basement." (not something explicitly allowed or forbidden, and not really dangerous, IMO)

"Aunt Cindy, S took the car away from M."

 

DS does have some bossiness issues, which we are actively working on and we prepare before getting together. He's actually very open to doing things a different way if we deal with it in a healthy way. He just hates being tattled on all the time and gets really angry with the nieces (mainly) and then things go downhill really fast.

 

I hate to feel like I have to hover over them all the time...they should be allowed to play on their own sometimes, KWIM?

 

To the chair one, I'd probably say "Yeah, he likes to do that. It improves his balance" or something similar, with a smile.

 

About the car one, I'd say "Did S ask for it back?" and if S did and M wouldn't give it back, I'd tell the child to send M to me to get the story. If S didn't, then I would tell the tattler he might want to suggest to S that he ask for it back.

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My ds's primary grade school teacher gave me a different insight into tattling, that may help the general run of the mill stuff. Tattling is how kids of this age start learning about social norms and behaviors.

 

However, the tattler is always asked "Did you ask him to stop? or share? or ......" If not, the child is sent back to work it out. Only if the problem can't be worked out with the return of one of the participants(or is dangerous), does the adult intervene.

 

But looking at tattling as a way to learn about what is acceptable, changes the adult's attitude about it for the better. And the adult can better use it as a teaching moment.

 

But when the adult asks for the tattling, there's problems. Maybe your sil might be resposive to an adult discussion on the purpose of tattling and using it as a teaching moment?

 

Just had a thought. Did your sil grow up where she was figuratively thrown to the lions because the adults in her life brushed off her real problems as "tattling"? That may give you an opening to start discussions on how to handle it.

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I was in a very similar situation with my nieces. Our situation got pretty ugly because grandma would spank/yell at my kids without really knowing what the problem was .....or if there was really a problem. Our only solution was not to allow them to play together if I wasn't present to intervene. We had to leave the situation many, many times. We spent years avoiding them and certainly wouldn't go camping with them!

 

Fortunately my mom finally saw that the tattlers weren't always honest and my kids weren't always at fault. I can now let them stay with mom with their cousins but never when my brother/SIL are present. It is an unfortunate situation but I cannot change the niece's behavior when their parent's are encouraging it. So although the kids get along GREAT when my brother/SIL aren't present it just isn't worth the drama to try to spend time with the whole family.

 

In your situation I would deal with the tattling child like you would deal with any tattling child. If your child needs to be discipline by all means do so but don't feel like you need to deal with each tattle to prevent your sister from getting angry at you. She is probably going to be angry no matter what you do so YOU need to do whatever is best for you and your family. If you feel like you are going to "blow your top" then gather your family and leave the situation. Go do something fun without the tattlers and their parents.

 

Hope you have a great camping trip!

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Well...here the rule is, you can tell on somebody if YOU are willing to take the punishment for them. So if the toddler's standing in the middle of the road, the kids are willing to take whatever punishment, because they're *saving* her, a concept that can be difficult to discern from tattling, kwim?

 

Otoh, if it's not dangerous, the 6yo might do the 3yo's 3 min of timeout, & then I might or might not discreetly talk to 3yo. So far, we haven't encountered much of the dangerous, & we've rarely had to dole out other kids' punishments to tattlers. When they're not sure, they ask, which itself can be pretty funny.

 

Anyway, in the situation described, I'd try to reach an agreement like that w/ sil, in order to have similar rules while together. If that didn't work, I might try punishing the tattlers by removing from them the privelege of playing w/ my child. Iow, my kid & his toys can't play WITH YOU right now because it's just too upsetting when y'all are together.

 

(This would only work if there were no inherent punitive repercussions for my kid. In fact, though, I'd aim for getting him to play in the room where I was baking cookies & let him have a lick off the spoon or something. I'm passive agressive like that, though.)

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One thing I have discovered about tattlers - they are usually telling on themselves. It took me a few years to figure this out. My kid has a hard time defending herself verbally after the fact. I would say, "Dd, did you shove her?" She would simply say, "Yes." And would never mention the fact that the other kid had been hitting her.

 

My dd does not start physically with anyone, ever. So when someone comes to me and says, "(Dd) shoved me." The very first thing I ask is, "What were you doing to her." This always shocks them and they confess. I then tell them, "When you can pay me to be the judge/referee, THEN you can come and share your problems. Leave my kid alone if you can't take what you dish out."

 

I HATE tattling.

My kid NEVER tattles. She will usually just ignore the kid or tell them to stop. If they continue, she gives them a warning. "If you keep hitting me, I am going to shove you." They keep it up - she defends herself.

 

Not to brag, but every single time a kid runs home to cry and tattle and the parent gets all upset and calls me, we get to the bottom of it and find out that *their* kid was continually getting physical with my kid or other kids. My kid once got between 2 other kids because she knew the girl was gonna kick the boy's butt. The girl started it. As she was keeping them apart, the other girl was pushed and fell into a small table. She ran home to cry to her father (who was always the one to say that his kid is allowed to hit first when necessary). He was pissed off at my kid. We got the real story from the boy my dd defended. The tattler then confessed that this was the truth.

 

I do not listen to or tolerate tattling.

If you can't play - then don't!

Parents who allow tattling drive me insane.

 

I wonder if your nephews are starting with your son because they know that they can call their mother and look like angels. Just my experience.

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I feel like I have to do something or she will be angry with me, but I just want to scream!
There's your biggest problem. You shouldn't make parenting decisions based on whether your SIL will be angry with you. It's not fair to your children, and you won't feel good about what you do unless you do it for the right reasons.

 

I'd be really tempted to deflect reports from my SIL about incidents she's learned about through her children's tattling by stating, "My, your children certainly do tattle a lot, don't they?"

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I recently read a study that parents punish tattling about ten times more than they punish lying. And that most "tattlers" have tried to deal with the problem themselves in 13 cases out of 14. (For those of you who like to look stuff up, den Bak and Ross, "I'm Telling!", Social Development 5:3, 1996, and Ross and den Bek-Lammers, "Consistency and Change in Children's Tattling on Their Siblings," Social Development 7:3, 1998.)

 

If you really don't care what your nieces and nephew may be dealing with, just don't respond when they come, or try to get them to work together, instead of just telling them to buzz off. I think setting up some sort of judicial-type procedure where people work it out might be in order. You will try to offer the nieces and nephew another method of problem-solving, while holding your children accountable.

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I recently read a study that parents punish tattling about ten times more than they punish lying. And that most "tattlers" have tried to deal with the problem themselves in 13 cases out of 14. (For those of you who like to look stuff up, den Bak and Ross, "I'm Telling!", Social Development 5:3, 1996, and Ross and den Bek-Lammers, "Consistency and Change in Children's Tattling on Their Siblings," Social Development 7:3, 1998.).

 

I really do have a much different perspective about tattling than many folks, I guess, because I've noticed that so many people have such a visceral reaction to it!

 

I don't, simply because I want my kids to tell me things. It may be that it's unnecessary, and it may be that their motivation is wrong...but if they aren't coming to me in the first place, then, how do we figure that out? I know others may have something in place to address that, but here, I don't punish/discourage kids communicating to me. I may redirect their approach, or send them back to handle something themselves...but it's not wrong to tell Mom stuff. (It is wrong, however, to use a sing-songy voice and holier-than-thou attitude, lol. Also something we redirect.)

 

I think setting up some sort of judicial-type procedure where people work it out might be in order. You will try to offer the nieces and nephew another method of problem-solving, while holding your children accountable.

 

This is sort of what we do at our house, amongst our own kids. I try to teach them to follow a sort of Biblical model, similar to what Christians are encouraged to do with each other (try to work it out with the person yourself, first, then go get someone else).

 

If a sibling's child was tattling on my kids, and someone gave me the hairy eyeball, I'd just address it the same way: "Did you ask him/her to stop? No? Why don't you do that, and see what happens? If they won't listen to you, come back, and I'll handle it."

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Yes, there are some problems in the adult world (my SIL has very different ideas about parenting and rules are quite different from mine and my mother's). My mother was very upset when she realized the phone-calling thing was happening and was happy to help the boys work things out themselves, which they did marvelously...

 

Well APmom, it sounds like you and your mother are on top of this. It's a ticklish situation, because the last thing you want to do is seem to gang up on the SIL. It sounds like the boys are getting a lot out of their relationship, which will hopefully endure long after all of you mothers have left for a better world.

 

It may have to be demonstrated to SIL that there's another way for the boys to resolve their conflicts at Grandma's house. It also may be that the solution is going to result from a heart-to-heart with his grandmother. Grandma may have to ask your nephew point blank to "Try it my way first, then call your mother."

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I would respond back to your SIL the way you might respond back to a tattling child. If SIL says your DS took the car away, then I was look SIL in the eye and say "well did DN ask for it back? Did they try to talk about it? Did they try taking turns?" You said you feel like you have to punish your DS because of your DN tattling, but maybe you are reacting in the wrong way to your SIL. Did your SIL have siblings? Maybe she isn't used to kids tattling.

 

Also you could tell your DS that he can choose not to play with his cousins if he doesn't like the way they play (ie tattling). This would be a natural consequence. You tattle, kids don't want to play with you.

 

Also I would try not to let it bug you so much. It may be annoying to you, but it really isn't that serious.

 

I think tattling is a tricky thing, because sometimes the message that gets communicated to kids is just don't tell if there is bad behavior and that can led to problems. You want kids to tell if it is serious, but sometimes kids can't/don't make a good judgment about what is serious. Some parents may error on the side of not discouraging tattling. They may have a good reason that you don't know about.

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i would suggest to the tattler that if they don't like the way the other is playing, then don't play with him/ her. my kids lose the privilege of playing together if they cannot work out differences. if your kids are consistently offending the tattler, then tell them that they will not be allowed to play together (i.e. sent to different rooms with different, not-so-fun activities). this punishes everyone and soon, no one wants to be the tattler, and they work it out.

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Exactly. It's the "why didn't you TELL US that Sue was pregnant / Pat was going to bring a gun to school / Jim said he was so sad he didn't want to live anymore / Greg said glue smelled nice ? We would have been there for you!" routine.

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For better or worse, my children rarely if ever tattle. Because they're both moderately introverted, this means I rarely find out they're being hurt until I hear it from their playmates. A week or so after the incident, I'll hear that a child punched, kicked, hit or teased one of my two. I really have to keep my ear to the ground and ask the right questions.

 

I really respect the way both kids seem to handle things, but I do worry from time to time. They're so mild that I worry they'll be bullied. For the most part, it hasn't happened. Their playmates are really good kids. Because they don't tattle, and are so mild mannered, I have to be super respectful of their preferences in friends. If they don't want to play with someone for a while, they have a good reason for feeling this way. It's a bad idea for me to push them to "try to get along" with a difficult person. By the time I get an inkling there's a problem, my two little peace-makers have already been dealing effectively with the issue for some time.

 

Our daughter is 13 and our son is 10. They are a handful in their own way. Kids who won't tattle require quite a bit of finesse, if you plan on monitoring their relationships for trouble. As an example: at my son's last sleepover, his room was totally nuked. We still haven't finished cleaning up from this debacle. Toys and furniture were broken, and the mess was extraordinary. I really wish one of the kids would have ratted out my son's guests, because I would have called a halt to their more ridiculous behavior if I had known. Now the other kids' mother is pushing for another play date, and I am prayerfully considering it. The thing is, there's no way I'm letting those kids in our son's room. They've got to stay down in the family room and play where Hubby and I can monitor. Most of the mess was created between the hours of 10 PM and 3 AM, when the Conley family was sound asleep. None of us, not even our children, have the endurance to ride herd on lively people who can find the energy to keep going through the night.

 

This isn't the first time we've been through something like this. Both kids are mild mannered to a fault, and it can take a toll on a parent's nerves. My son is facing the consequences for not ratting out his lively pals, because he's never faced a clean up project of quite this magnitude. I'm hoping this consequence will cause him to speak up next time, but you never know.

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I really do have a much different perspective about tattling than many folks, I guess, because I've noticed that so many people have such a visceral reaction to it!

 

I don't, simply because I want my kids to tell me things. It may be that it's unnecessary, and it may be that their motivation is wrong...but if they aren't coming to me in the first place, then, how do we figure that out? I know others may have something in place to address that, but here, I don't punish/discourage kids communicating to me. I may redirect their approach, or send them back to handle something themselves...but it's not wrong to tell Mom stuff. (It is wrong, however, to use a sing-songy voice and holier-than-thou attitude, lol. Also something we redirect.)

 

 

 

This is sort of what we do at our house, amongst our own kids. I try to teach them to follow a sort of Biblical model, similar to what Christians are encouraged to do with each other (try to work it out with the person yourself, first, then go get someone else).

 

If a sibling's child was tattling on my kids, and someone gave me the hairy eyeball, I'd just address it the same way: "Did you ask him/her to stop? No? Why don't you do that, and see what happens? If they won't listen to you, come back, and I'll handle it."

 

:iagree:

 

I really don't understand the difference between tattling and letting an adult know there's a problem and the kids need help fixing it. I have one friend who tells her kids to stop tattling....but I don't see it as tattling (or I don't agree with the concept), I see it as the kids needing some guidance at that point or it will escalate. What am I missing here? She kinda gets on my nerves when one of the kids occasionaly comes to her with an issue and she points out that it's tattling. I want my kids to come to me with their problems and I encourage that. I also tell them when I'm not around and there is a problem then take it to the adult, so I would hope the adult respects their issue and helps them out.

 

I'm having a problem right now where my kids don't come to me when things start going sour and they wind up hitting or shoving each other...they are getting in trouble for not coming to mom and telling me there's a problem.

 

No flames please, but I truly don't understand this anti-tattling thing. Help me understand the difference between tattling and kids needing an adult to intervene/help them out.

 

Alison

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For better or worse, my children rarely if ever tattle. Because they're both moderately introverted, this means I rarely find out they're being hurt until I hear it from their playmates. A week or so after the incident, I'll hear that a child punched, kicked, hit or teased one of my two. I really have to keep my ear to the ground and ask the right questions.

I strongly advise talking to them directly. I speak from personal experience, after a trip to the ER with my son. It all happened very quickly. That motivated in-depth talks with my kids about how to handle such violent behavior and so forth, believe me.

 

Think about how those molested by priests, step-fathers, uncles, or neighbors are manipulated, and how rapists get away with it. Keeping it all quietly within is not a healthy strategy when one is victimized.

 

The difference between tattling and asking for help is that the adult doesn't feel it's worth his/her time.

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No flames please, but I truly don't understand this anti-tattling thing. Help me understand the difference between tattling and kids needing an adult to intervene/help them out.

 

Alison

 

After reading through these post I realized that we are kinda talking about 2 different things and you nailed the difference!

 

Tattling. "He took my car." "she stepped on my foot." etc. Tattling is minor offences that both parties should be able to work out. I have found out that usually the tattler is not always completely honest with the situation and it appears that other mamas have noticed this as well. "He took my car." = I want that car he is playing with. "SHe stepped on my foot"= an accident.

 

Tattling is completely different from coming to an adult for helping them out. "Emme is mad and me and I don't know what to do." or "I've asked Emme to stop hitting me twice because I won't give her my car so I'm coming in here." These types of comments lead to a discussion and the adult can help the kids find a solution.

 

"Emme is mad..." response could be "why do you think she is mad" "Do you think that you two need a break for awhile from each other" "how do you think you both can solve your differences."

 

I don't encourage or like tattling. I do encourage my kids to seek my help if they are in a situation that they feel they need help. I expect them to tell me what the situation is, why they think it occured and how they tried to solve it.

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After reading through these post I realized that we are kinda talking about 2 different things and you nailed the difference!

 

Tattling. "He took my car." "she stepped on my foot." etc. Tattling is minor offences that both parties should be able to work out. I have found out that usually the tattler is not always completely honest with the situation and it appears that other mamas have noticed this as well. "He took my car." = I want that car he is playing with. "SHe stepped on my foot"= an accident.

 

Tattling is completely different from coming to an adult for helping them out. "Emme is mad and me and I don't know what to do." or "I've asked Emme to stop hitting me twice because I won't give her my car so I'm coming in here." These types of comments lead to a discussion and the adult can help the kids find a solution.

 

"Emme is mad..." response could be "why do you think she is mad" "Do you think that you two need a break for awhile from each other" "how do you think you both can solve your differences."

 

I don't encourage or like tattling. I do encourage my kids to seek my help if they are in a situation that they feel they need help. I expect them to tell me what the situation is, why they think it occured and how they tried to solve it.

 

:iagree: You really have to try to discern the heart of the tattler. Is the tattler trying to get the other child in trouble? (He took my car!) Or is the tattler genuinely concerned for the safety and well-being of the other child? (She's standing in the road!) Or is the tattler not sure how to handle the situation? (J and M are fighting!)

 

It really takes some discerning on the part of the adults involved. Unless there's an immediate danger, I usually try to wait a couple of beats before I respond.

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I really do have a much different perspective about tattling than many folks, I guess, because I've noticed that so many people have such a visceral reaction to it!

 

I don't, simply because I want my kids to tell me things. It may be that it's unnecessary, and it may be that their motivation is wrong...but if they aren't coming to me in the first place, then, how do we figure that out? I know others may have something in place to address that, but here, I don't punish/discourage kids communicating to me. I may redirect their approach, or send them back to handle something themselves...but it's not wrong to tell Mom stuff. (It is wrong, however, to use a sing-songy voice and holier-than-thou attitude, lol. Also something we redirect.)

 

 

 

 

 

:iagree:

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I recently read a study that parents punish tattling about ten times more than they punish lying. And that most "tattlers" have tried to deal with the problem themselves in 13 cases out of 14. (For those of you who like to look stuff up, den Bak and Ross, "I'm Telling!", Social Development 5:3, 1996, and Ross and den Bek-Lammers, "Consistency and Change in Children's Tattling on Their Siblings," Social Development 7:3, 1998.)

 

........

 

This is why I feel that changing our attitudes about tattling is important. Instead of using this as a teaching opportunity in how to resolve conflict and compromise, the tattler is often scolded and called names by the adults. And before anyone starts saying we don't, on this thread alone I've read the term "snitch", "snitches end up in ditches", "tattletale" and "I hate tattletales".

 

And I can't help but wonder if the reason the OP's sil wants her dc to tell her about the misbehavior of other children is because the SIL's parents ignored her requests for help because she was "tattling". If she was always ignored and not taught how to deal with problems, she may have overreacted in the opposite direction. She may not trust other adults to intervene when needed because her parents didn't. She just went to the other extreme.

 

Now there are dc who do carry "tattling" too far, but that can be nipped in the bud by asking the right questions. But how much bullying occurs because adults don't like tattlers?

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:iagree:

I really do have a much different perspective about tattling than many folks, I guess, because I've noticed that so many people have such a visceral reaction to it!

 

I don't, simply because I want my kids to tell me things. It may be that it's unnecessary, and it may be that their motivation is wrong...but if they aren't coming to me in the first place, then, how do we figure that out? I know others may have something in place to address that, but here, I don't punish/discourage kids communicating to me. I may redirect their approach, or send them back to handle something themselves...but it's not wrong to tell Mom stuff. (It is wrong, however, to use a sing-songy voice and holier-than-thou attitude, lol. Also something we redirect.)

 

 

 

This is sort of what we do at our house, amongst our own kids. I try to teach them to follow a sort of Biblical model, similar to what Christians are encouraged to do with each other (try to work it out with the person yourself, first, then go get someone else).

 

If a sibling's child was tattling on my kids, and someone gave me the hairy eyeball, I'd just address it the same way: "Did you ask him/her to stop? No? Why don't you do that, and see what happens? If they won't listen to you, come back, and I'll handle it."

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.....Tattling. "He took my car." "she stepped on my foot." etc. Tattling is minor offences that both parties should be able to work out. I have found out that usually the tattler is not always completely honest with the situation and it appears that other mamas have noticed this as well. "He took my car." = I want that car he is playing with. "SHe stepped on my foot"= an accident.

 

Tattling is completely different from coming to an adult for helping them out. ......

 

But young kids don't have the best judgement in the world. So if the parent calls "stepping on my foot" or "taking my car" tattling, a young kid may consider complaining about being slugged as tattling and not report it.

 

Then the child needs to learn how to deal with the little irritations of life. If you have a set list of questions to ask the child to do before coming back with a complaint, the child will learn techniques to smooth the social waters yet stand up for himself. And if the tattler is the one who actually started the problem, the adult can get the point across that the guilty party had better straighten up if he wants the other kids to not defend themselves.

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Tattle Form. Unless it is an emegency: Blood, danger, illness, you have to fill out the tattle form. You really have to want to tattle if you go through the bother of filling out the form. This has eliminated the "I just want to get so and so in trouble" tattling. The form consists of the following fields and all fields must be filled in:

Name

Date

Date of Birth

Address

House tel. number

My cell phone number

What is your favorite food?

Song?

Subject?

Least favorite subject?

Who are you tattling on?

3 lines to write out the tattle.

 

The form allows me to see that they know where they live, important numbers, etc.

 

If they bother to fill out the form I know it is a situation that I need to step in and assist with otherwise they need to work it out amongst themselves.

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I would step in and directly talk to dn right in front of dSIL when she goes to her mother tattling. I think it's well within your right since your son is the "perpetrator" of whatever crime she's tattling about.

 

I's start by saying something like, "If my son did anything to hurt you or break something, come to me and I can discipline him." This shows dSIL you care about what her daughter is saying.

 

Anytime she goes up to dSIL where you can tell she's tattling, I'd be right there sweetly asking what the problem is and how I could solve it with my son. If it's a social problem dn doesn't know how to solve, I'd suggest ways she could solve it herself...which will be a dig at dsil's parenting and she will get the hint and hopefully start teaching her dd ways to handle a situation herself.

 

"It sounds like you need to learn how to ask for what you want." "It sounds like you help learning how to negotiate with friends." Then give her suggestions.

 

If it's just plain tattling, I'd call her out on it in front of dsil. I'd say something like "It sounds like you don't understand the difference between needing help and just trying to have mommy get you your way." This will make dsil in angry, but dn is using her to manipulate your son and you shouldn't stand for that. It's basically bullying with dn and dsil against your son and I'm sure that's how he feels knowing she is running to her mommy for backup against him.

 

Be sure to pop up every time dn tattles to dsil. Eventually dsil might not want her dd tattling about everything since she knows it will become a 3-person discussion, often with her child's social skills called out.

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