To Tattle or Not to Tattle? That is the Question......
And it is a big question. One I'm still trying to figure out the answer to as far as my children's tattling squabbles go.
At the end of the day I feel no one likes a tattle tale, but it is very important for our kids to report to us or other authorities in certain situations. So how do we teach our kids to have that emotional or gut guage to help them distinguish when to tattle or share information with an adult versus when to let things slide?
My son is 3 1/2 and I don't see any tattling genes in him. He has a great sense of right and wrong but I never notice him reporting back to me on his big sister's behavior or the naughty behavior of others. Maybe it's his age? Or I honestly think it is his personality. He's a curious kid and slightly mischievous on his own accord so I think he has the sense to keep certain tricks on the down low from adults.
On the other hand, my lovely daughter who is almost 6 and just started Kindergarten appears to have the real makings of a "goody two shoes" and certainly seems to love a good tattle to Mom or a teacher about the misbehavior or inappropriate actions of others. Part of me loves that she wants to be so well behaved and totally has what my husband and I call "The Good Kid Syndrome." The other part of me wants to instill in her a sense of independence and self-reliance and the know how and know when for which circumstances require a report to Mom and Dad or a teacher, and which minor incidents like a small innocent trick from her little brother or a minor swat from a playmate don't require any involvement from authorities.
I certainly don't want her to be made fun of for being a tattle tale. But I do love that she behaves beautifully!
So, how do we teach our kids when to let things slide? And when they must tattle for the safety of themselves or their peers? I don't know the answer, but I do think frequent conversations with our kids about right and wrong and a reminder to always tell if/when they encounter a serious "feel it in your gut" moment is a good place to start.
Do your kids tattle? Do they make fun of the tattle tales around them?