Tattletales: Why & How I'm Curbing My Kids' Tattletale Mentality by Tanya Kuzmanovic
Tattletaling is a perfectly normal behavior, especially in children just starting to develop a moral compass. But if left unchecked, this whistle-blowing mindset can escalate to the point where kids become unlikeable – to their peers, siblings, teachers … even to their own parents!
How an adult on the tattle's receiving end responds is often key to whether the behavior worsens or fades. It's a tricky business helping kids navigate through what is and is not squeal-worthy. The reasons behind it are just as important – if not more so –than the act being blabbed about in the first place. Here's how I break it down to my kids:
- Is someone hurt?
- Are you worried about something or someone?
- Are you trying to win over a teacher or parent?
- Do you want to get someone in trouble?
As with most human behavior, there are subtle layers and nuances that require deciphering – and I'm here to help guide them through it all. Basically, I tell my kids, "Don't be a tattletale, unless you have to be."
They're finally starting to get the hang of it.