What Is Tattling? (5-4-14)


Today’s Parenting Tip:

DECIDE:   To help your child know the difference between tattling and asking for help.

PRACTICE:  Today, have a conversation with your child about tattling.

Explain that he should go to an adult for help when he needs it, but he should not tattle on others just to get them in trouble.

These two things are different. Reporting something important to an adult is not tattling. Tell your child that he can tell the difference by asking a simple question. When you come to an adult to tell on someone, “Are you hoping to get that person in trouble?”

If yes, you are tattling. If you come to an adult because you are hoping to get some help with a problem or are really afraid about something, you are not tattling.

For example, when he reports that Jonah is eating more candy than he is supposed to, he is hoping to get Jonah in trouble. When he reports that Jonah is riding his bike in the street after being told that it is very dangerous, he is just getting help from an adult because he is scared for Jonah.

This is also an important conversation to have with a teenager. Ask your teen, “What makes a teenager a snitch or a tattletale?”

Give examples of situations where teens should be telling adults about problems – which would not be tattling or snitching. For example, when they hear about weapons at school or kids that plan to hurt themselves or others. This is not being a snitch or tattletale.

Today’s Decide and Practice daily parenting tip was inspired by our featured picture book, PHOEBE & DIGGER.  Read the book to a child in your life each day as a reminder of what you are deciding and practicing that day.

Come back each day for another good parenting decision and how to practice it. (Each day’s activity will also be posted on the Daily Parenting Tips page for easy access.)

Read the whole story at Making Children Feel Safe and Important, Part 2.

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