Have you ever heard, “I’m telling!” followed by stomps and punctuated with a child at your feet with arms crossed? I have, more than once. I always struggled because there are times when the so called “tattling” actually helped another child from getting hurt. The tattler was truly concerned. But how do we teach the difference to our children, the difference of tattling vs. helping?
Recently I read an article and it was a huge help.
1. Help the child to understand what his motivation is. Tell the child to ask himself whether he’ll be getting his sibling out of trouble or into it.
2. Each time he tattles, ask him if he’s being helpful.
3. When he tattles, ask him to think of one thing he could have done besides tattling. As he gets better at this, ask him for 2, then 3 alternative solutions.