Lee and I were discussing tattling the other night. He mentioned that there are other motivations besides anger for tattling. For example, some children tattle simply because they have a sense of justice (i.e., I cannot allow anyone else to do anything wrong). If you know a child who has Asperger’s Syndrome, you have probably seen this motivation in action. 🙂
I’m not dispensing advice here. But Lee’s observation underscores how important it is to discern the motivation behind the action. Is it anger? Pride? A request for help solving a problem? Until I know why a child is tattling, I cannot respond appropriately. And sometimes, dealing with the motivation takes care of the end problem anyway.