“Mommmm, she took my toy!!!!”
“He’s copying me!!!”
You know how it goes. It’s about this time that you start planning a long luxurious walk to take out the garbage just to not hear the tattling anymore. Believe me, I’ve been there! At least a couple of times:). Here are a few strategies that have worked for us (some of the time):
1) Have the child that is tattling write (or draw if they are younger) what their grievance is. It’s amazing how many things are NOT that big of a deal to them if they have to put in that kind of effort. If they do follow through, it has given them time to process and cool down, not to mention they have worked on some writing skills. It also shows that they really were hurt or bothered by what happened and not just trying to get someone into trouble.
2) Select a stuffed animal to be the “Tattling Bear” to hear all the family woes (poor bear). This works well with little ones in the house who just need to “be heard”.
Addie with the Tattling Bear. He’s a good
3) Point the child to Matthew 18:15-16 as this is a life skill that they might as well learn early on. Have them work to solve it without you first and then come to you if necessary.
4) Record their complaint on video and have them watch it and then have them reflect if there is something they should do differently before they worry about the other person (Luke 6:42). This can also bring a few laughs!
5) For the perpetual tattler you can give them three tickets (or coins or whatever) per day and tell them that when those tickets are gone there is no more coming to you about someone else for the rest of that day. This helps them learn to evaluate what is truly important and what is not.
6) For general fighting that is not ending productively we will have those involved do a chore that is not on their regular chore chart. They usually figure it out after the first extra chore. Otherwise you will have well dusted baseboards:).
Our house is not tattle-free, but different strategies seem to work for different kiddos. I’d love to hear what strategies you use!!
Blessings to your family,
**I’m featured over at “Bless & Be Blessed Saturday” this week. Go check out Gail’s site and her insightful words.