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Should we discourage tattletale-ing?

 
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wannagrow









  


Post  Wed, Aug 18 2010, 9:59 am
I'm sure it's not an uncommon event when siblings tattletale on eachother. Esp on days that they are home from school/ camp.

On the one hand I feel it is lashon hara and encourages anomisity/ jealousy.

On the other hand, I feel at times tha I may be encouraging it, I.e. 2 yr old and 5 yr old are playing. Suddenly 3 yr old is screaming hysterically-- mommy comes in and asks "What happenend?" and off they go... but then again I need to know, no?

Or, for example, I have a strict rule with watching videaos in the house and allow 30 min on most days. So say I come home from work, my older son tells me-- "X watched for an hr!" I don't want to encourage him to speak badly about his siblings but I NEED TO KNOW to I can discuss it w her...
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Chavelamomela









  


Post  Wed, Aug 18 2010, 10:04 am
I am not a fan of tattling, and neither is DH. We just don't do it in our family (and our 5y.o. ds knows it). we tell him to "work it out" - and he really does. He communicates well, and we only intervene when there's blood or fire (okay, maybe some crying too Wink )

It's lashon hara, but also, every action that is being reported is probably preceded by an equally offensive action by the other child, so no one kid is usually at fault.

It was funny. We moved to a new neighborhood, and we invited our new neighbors down the hall to play. Their kids were constantly coming to me and saying to my son "I'm telling on you!" - and they learned quickly that we don't work that way. One time their kid was upset about this and said to me "I'm telling on YOU" and ran down the hall to her mom to tell on ME that I wasn't letting them tattle.
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Chayalle









  


Post  Wed, Aug 18 2010, 10:05 am
You have to be careful to make sure the child is old enough to understand what's Lashon Harah and what's not.

I have a friend who did not tell her mother when she saw her brother taking a bottle of pills....because she had been taught not to tattle. She was five and he was three.
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yo'ma









  


Post  Wed, Aug 18 2010, 10:42 am
I tell my children to tell me if it's dangerous or if I really need to know, but only if I could still do something about it. Someone mentioned the watcing for an hour when they're only supposed to watch a 1/2 hour, there's nothing to be done about it anymore, so don't tell me. If they do tell me, I would tell the child that they shouldn't have told me and later while I have the other child alone and nobody listening, I would say how they shouldn't have done blah, blah, blah. Make sense?
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Chayalle









  


Post  Wed, Aug 18 2010, 11:55 am
Chavale, some of what you are saying can also apply to - what do you do when your kids tattle?

I have a policy that I generally don't get involved with my kids' arguements. They know that so it minimizes the "she did this and she did that" dicussions that we have at home.

If my DD comes and tattles on my other DD I will just active listen - oh did she? Oh I can see you are upset about that.

If she says DO SOMETHING I'll say I can see you want me to do something but you know you are the one that's going to have to make a choice about what to do. You can either go and try to work things out or you can keep me company here....(that gets pretty boring after a while).

In general, I find that parents who are super-involved with their kids' fights, etc...have set themselves up as a referree/policeman, and the kids are constantly bugging each other and then going to the parents to settle things....(I know someone whose teenaged kids still do that, it's nuts....) Parents who insist that their kids take responsibility, will have their kids knowing they need to work things out on their own.
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Chavelamomela









  


Post  Wed, Aug 18 2010, 12:42 pm
Chayalle wrote:
Chavale, some of what you are saying can also apply to - what do you do when your kids tattle?

I have a policy that I generally don't get involved with my kids' arguements. They know that so it minimizes the "she did this and she did that" dicussions that we have at home.

If my DD comes and tattles on my other DD I will just active listen - oh did she? Oh I can see you are upset about that.

If she says DO SOMETHING I'll say I can see you want me to do something but you know you are the one that's going to have to make a choice about what to do. You can either go and try to work things out or you can keep me company here....(that gets pretty boring after a while).

In general, I find that parents who are super-involved with their kids' fights, etc...have set themselves up as a referree/policeman, and the kids are constantly bugging each other and then going to the parents to settle things....(I know someone whose teenaged kids still do that, it's nuts....) Parents who insist that their kids take responsibility, will have their kids knowing they need to work things out on their own.


Sounds right Thumbs Up on the "active listening" - super important parenting skill!
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wannagrow









  


Post  Thu, Aug 19 2010, 1:28 pm
OP here-- all the above makes a lot of sense!

My concern is the age differences sometimes and if I just leave them to work out their troubles, the older may take advantage of the younger and get his way more often than not. Also, shoudn't we as parents teach our children how to work things out? How can we do that if we don't allow them to involve us?
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Chavelamomela









  


Post  Thu, Aug 19 2010, 1:42 pm
Sometimes sibling relationships may need more active intervention than peer friendships.

If the older one is taking advantage of the younger, its important to remind him and demonstrate how to use his power as older appropriately, and when that power is being abused.

If that is a problem, I would step in and guide, or perhaps help the younger child find the words to express and advocate for himself. But this is irrelevant to tattling, kwim? Helping our kids find the language to express and assert themselves is an important tool we teach our kids, by suggesting how they can interact.
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suomynona









  


Post  Thu, Aug 19 2010, 1:48 pm
I heard the following in a popular parent class:

Tattling until age 5 is ok because you want the child to feel like they can tell you anything.
After age 5, anything not affecting that child and not dangerous is Lashon Hara and you shouldn't listen if they tell it to you.
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