How to discourage tattling?

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How to discourage tattling?

Postby RRMummy » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:09 pm

I now have 2 budding very diligent whistle-blowers at home and believe me it can really make me want to just screammm!! :x

"Mummmmy.. mei-mei don't let me play the tamborine!"
"Mummmmmyy.. jie-jie is climbing up the sofa again!"
I think my gals are trying to outdo each other by spotting wrongdoing.. maybe faster than a hungry cat can spot a mouse!

During the PTC on Saturday, a comment from DD1's teacher was abt..
"T'cher XXX, A doesn't want to colour..." etc etc :roll:

I half suspect that my gals are tattling out of a sense of righteousness. Also, they may do it to get attention or make themselves look better in my eyes or the teacher's. Unfortunately, my budding whistle-blowers don't understand how irritating it can be for everyone involved.

I've heard of some parents' favorite motto, "I only want to hear about it if there's blood spilled," or "You guys fight it out and only come tell me who the winner is"... These mottos are not what I live by but then the underlying message is what I think is right for children's development — try to work it out by yourself first. Of course, having said that, I have to set some ground rules.

So I tell them that Mummy (now newly added - "and your teachers") only wants to hear a complaint about someone only if that someone is doing something very dangerous. Giving them examples of dangerous like - running/walking around with scissors, climbing up the sofa head-rest, jumping on the bed, scribbling on the sofa/wall (danger of killing mummy with the wall-scrubbing)! :P

During this period, I've also realized that preschoolers aren't always able to make those distinctions. So if she's truly trying to protect her sister(even if it's not dangerous by my standards), I'll still praise her for coming to me.

When it is just pure tattling, I don't punish the supposed wrongdoer either. I am aware that my tattle-taler's (if there is such a word :wink:) version of events may be biased and that will only reinforce the tattling habit. And obviously at 5yo and 3yo, my children aren't fully equipped to handle every conflict on their own. That is when I step in, talk to them about it, analyse the situation and work out some solutions together, and then back off.

Hopefully, I'll gradually empower my children to try handling minor tussles on their own. And also kick that yucky tattling habit soon!

Wish me luck! :xedfingers:

Anyone else with trial-and-tested methods, please share. TIA

RRMummy
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Postby Andaiz » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:03 pm

I don't discourage tattling...sometimes the younger kids (even my P1) do this as a means of communication. They see this as "dangerous" or "what mummy/teacher/grandma... said not to do, so I'm reminding you" except that it comes out like a whine and drives us nuts!

I've not stopped that per se...rather, I try and get the older 2 (I've got 3) gals to channel that energy into teaching the younger one what needs to be done, or alternatives....of course, that's if you trust that you've taught the older one well :roll: e.g.,

DD #1: " mummy, mei mei snatched my stuff again...and she won't give it back!!!" (grovel and whine for effect).
Me: "Yes, mei mei's not right in snatching your stuff...let's ask for it back properly; and then we'd do this again okay?"
DD#1:"but she won't, you know....I shall call her 'snatcher'!!!!!"
Me: "alright, mei mei, you give this back to jie jie when she asks nicely, then you need to learn to ask properly..."
DD#1:"but....but..."

it's tough man, but once you get the tattler to see that he/she can do more than just tattle and report, you can channel their energy into something more effective and they love being helping hands....

Tell me how it goes

Andaiz
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Postby sunflower » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:12 am

Hey Andaiz, what a coincidence! That's what I usually do too!

sunflower
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Postby Andaiz » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:34 pm

Yep, needs lots of patience :roll: long-suffering parents we are...BUT fruits of our labour is apparent, don't you agree?

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