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Thread: Constant tattling

  1. #1
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    Default Constant tattling

    Anyone have a tattler? I have two and it's kind of driving me crazy. I don't want them to not speak up when they think something is wrong but omg it's every.little.thing. I know they do it at school too.

    We have tried discussing big problems vs little problems and they seem to think everything is a big problem lol. I have tried to send them back to figure out their own solution.....doesn't really go well.

    Any ideas?
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  2. #2
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    I had ideas but when I took two seconds to think about them, it kinda fell apart lol. I'll tell you anyway just in case it sparks an idea or you can think of a way to improve it.

    1) Only hear "tattles" at certain times of day. The break down here is big problems that need immediate attention.

    2) Have them write it down and read them once or twice a day. Also, fails the big problem test and also, maybe they aren't writing well yet.
    Natalie [31] DH [40] 9/01, 1/06 NaturallyNatalie's Hair Accessories!

  3. #3

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    When I taught kindergarten, we had a stuffed monkey in the class who was the Tattle Monkey. Unless someone was hurt or it was an emergency, the kids were instructed to tell the monkey and he held the tattles in his Tattle "Tail". Then, I told the kids that the monkey would tell all of the tattles to me at the end of the day. Every once in a while, I would pick him up and pretend like he was whispering stuff in my ear. It worked beautifully!


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geneari View Post
    I had ideas but when I took two seconds to think about them, it kinda fell apart lol. I'll tell you anyway just in case it sparks an idea or you can think of a way to improve it.

    1) Only hear "tattles" at certain times of day. The break down here is big problems that need immediate attention.

    2) Have them write it down and read them once or twice a day. Also, fails the big problem test and also, maybe they aren't writing well yet.
    Thanks #1 just would not work...they don't have the patience. DD2 can't write so #2 would not work for now....maybe in the future lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by preciousnd98 View Post
    When I taught kindergarten, we had a stuffed monkey in the class who was the Tattle Monkey. Unless someone was hurt or it was an emergency, the kids were instructed to tell the monkey and he held the tattles in his Tattle "Tail". Then, I told the kids that the monkey would tell all of the tattles to me at the end of the day. Every once in a while, I would pick him up and pretend like he was whispering stuff in my ear. It worked beautifully!
    Not a bad idea! I could just see me saying, "Tell it to the monkey" all day
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by preciousnd98 View Post
    When I taught kindergarten, we had a stuffed monkey in the class who was the Tattle Monkey. Unless someone was hurt or it was an emergency, the kids were instructed to tell the monkey and he held the tattles in his Tattle "Tail". Then, I told the kids that the monkey would tell all of the tattles to me at the end of the day. Every once in a while, I would pick him up and pretend like he was whispering stuff in my ear. It worked beautifully!
    LOVE this!
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



  6. #6

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    ds tattles on dd all day too. but i have not yet found a solution... i also have a dog that tattles on my kids. she will pace from room to room or sit and look at the misbehaving child and back to me and to the child and to me, if i do not respond she lets out a high pitch bark (one single bark) to say "HEY! somethings going bad over there" not sure how to fix that either (or if i even want to fix it lol)
    i like the monkey idea...
    i will hear but ignore the little stuff and help fix the big stuff. but its not stopping the tattling.


  7. #7
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    What about if one tattles about little stuff...both get in trouble? Is it always little stuff or mostly little silly things?

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  8. #8

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    the problem is that everything at that age is black and white, and their sense of justice and learning right from wrong requires validation that if it is wrong for them, it's wrong for everyone all the time. the discernment of big offenses vs little offenses is a conceptual thing that comes later.

    I want my kids to feel like they can tell me anything, and that their problems, big or small are important to me, so i tried to tolerate the tattling, and respond to their information to me in some positive way. The only time i really tried tosquelch it was when i felt like the child was trying to make themselves seem better than the other, or use the tattling to their advantage some how. i really only had one who was like that, and now that she's older, i think sometimes i misinerpreted her tattling. she still tells me *everything* that her siblings and friends do that she feels falls outside her own moral code. Sometimes i think she tells me to help her process things, and to help her work through whether something is really "bad" or "wrong" and if it is, what is her responsibility to the issue.

  9. #9

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    DS2 is a total tattle tale and I am with runningmom on this one. I think it helps him process things and he just does not understand big vs little things plus I want him to know I am there. But I do get totally tired of him telling me every.single.thing his brother or other people did including himself (I peed a little in my underpants, do you forgive me; I broke this; I want to hit Kevin, do you forgive me LOL).

    I like the monkey idea for older kids but with DS2 I will be telling him "go to the monkey" all day long and then I might end up carrying the monkey with us to who knows where....
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  10. #10
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    Yes I agree that I don't want them to feel like they can't tell me things. Perhaps it is a way to work through but omg I can't deal with it all day. I am certain their teachers don't listen to it either...they couldn't possibly with 20 kids doing it.

    Sometimes I try to just say "thank you for telling me". Sadly after a long day I end up saying, "I don't want to hear it anymore" which is sad but sometimes it just gets to be too much.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by macksmom View Post
    Yes I agree that I don't want them to feel like they can't tell me things. Perhaps it is a way to work through but omg I can't deal with it all day. I am certain their teachers don't listen to it either...they couldn't possibly with 20 kids doing it.

    Sometimes I try to just say "thank you for telling me". Sadly after a long day I end up saying, "I don't want to hear it anymore" which is sad but sometimes it just gets to be too much.
    LOL. I had a very loooooong day yesterday and DS1 was very difficult for some reason so toward the end of the day I said on several occasions "I am tired and the day is done; no more talking, just put on your PJs/brush your teeth/do this"
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  12. #12

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    It gets out of control here some days, too. I am trying to use it as a teaching tool to help them learn how to interact with others. I know they are going to encounter other people who are doing the wrong thing many times in life, so I want them to know the right way to handle it, especially when I am not there.

    When one of them tattles, I encourage him to go back to his brother, say what is bothering him, and remind him of positive behavior. Our interactions are a variation of something like this:

    DS1: Mom! C said that I am a poopy head.
    Me: That is sad because we don't use potty talk. You should tell your brother how that makes you feel and remind him to use nice language.
    DS1 to his brother: C, when you called me poopy head, it made me very sad. Can you use nice words?
    DS2: I sorry, J, OK.

    It took quite a few weeks of working on this before they got the hang of it, and my 5 year old is much more verbal of course than the 3 year old, but it has greatly reduced the tattling. I often hear them following these steps without having to come to me now.




  13. #13

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    I am mostly with a Runningmom on this one. As maddening as it is, I try so hard to hear them out. But I still don't get involved or take sides, assuming that no one is injured. I will say one of the following things:
    I'm so sorry that happened to you.
    I will tell you what I would do in your situation and then you can decide for yourself.
    Thank you for letting me know.
    Can I help you find something to do away from him/her? (They hardly ever take me up on that)
    Come here (hugs) I know it's hard when Sawyer a)whips cars at you. B) smacks you. C) screams at you. D) takes your toys. E) rips your picture F) farts on you.

  14. #14

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    This is going to sound so lame but, Cody "tattles" on me to James for things like "Hey mommy farted". We encourage Cody and Sophia (though Sophia doesn't understand it now) to tell if there is a real problem like if Sophia hit Cody I tell him that she most likely did not mean it because she is two. I do correct her for hitting though if I see if appears to be on purpose. She grabbed a toy away from Cody and I told her to give it back. Its sort of funny though I don't make it apparent she is like "Ooooh kay..." sigh . If I notice its more bickering over toys or something like "She stole my toy" I remind Cody that we share and he plays with her toys all the time so we have tons of toys and they can find something else again unless I her snatching or him snatching. I would say to remind them that whatever you consider small tattles to tell if its something like they are truly hurt. If its something where I personally hear Sophia screeching at Cody and he tell me I ask for Cody to give her space and I model for Sophia how to use a quiet voice and whisper.

  15. #15

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    While I do want my kids to feel like they can tell me anything, I also want them to be able to fix their problems together without constantly having to have me referee (which is typically what our tattling is about..."he took this" or "he won't let me play with this"). I always simply ask if someone's hurt or in danger (hurt can be physical or feelings). If the answer is no, I ask that they work out their problem together. We went through a period of time, maybe a couple of weeks, where it was getting really bad. Now, the tattling still occurs, but to a much lesser extent. I know that Luke's teacher uses a similar method, so that helps.




  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by preciousnd98 View Post
    When I taught kindergarten, we had a stuffed monkey in the class who was the Tattle Monkey. Unless someone was hurt or it was an emergency, the kids were instructed to tell the monkey and he held the tattles in his Tattle "Tail". Then, I told the kids that the monkey would tell all of the tattles to me at the end of the day. Every once in a while, I would pick him up and pretend like he was whispering stuff in my ear. It worked beautifully!
    This is a genius idea. Holy moly. I think this will change my life. I have a big tattle tail here haha
    Autumn (me) Darren () Naheana () Mahikoa () La'i () & Mana'o ()

  17. #17

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    We (and school) work on the distinction between "reporting" (someone needs help or is in danger) and "tattling" (commenting on someone else's behavior). Then I ask, "are you reporting or tattling?" And that has taken care of most of it over the past couple months. Worth a try.

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