Tattletales: Why & How I'm Curbing My Kids' Tattletale Mentality by Tanya Kuzmanovic

Tattletales: Why & How I'm Curbing My Kids' Tattletale Mentality

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.

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Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
Great point, Tanya Kuzmanovic . Kids need to be aware of the subtleties. Thanks for sharing your perspective - I always find your approach really interesting!
Mike Prochaska
Omg this my Daugher!! It drives me crazy way she does this !’

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