The tattletale has finally come into my radar. I’m surprised to find out that I’ve mentioned it only three times in the last few years.
For the last four years, I have WANTED my little ones to come to me with offenses. They had no problem solving skills to start with, and the only way I could help them was if I knew about it.
But now, I see something new. My older children (four and nearly six) do have some problem solving skills. And I’ve noticed that they’ve been coming to me with offenses that I’m not as happy to help them with.
What makes the difference? To find out, we have to define tattletale. That we’ll do next.
We found a book about tattle telling. In our house, if the offense if destructive to others, themselves, or objects, it’s ok to tell. This is a general rule and takes care of a lot of tattling problems, but not all.
What book did you find? I think you’re right that we have to have some sort of “exception clause”– things you immediately tell an adult. I think some children have been drilled about not tattling that they agonize over situations that must be brought into the light.
Joy Berry has a whole set of books about behavior issues. They are all titled “A Children’s Book About….” and then all different topics including Tattling. They are not necessarily written from a Christian perspective so some of them I have tweeked a bit while reading, but the kids LOVE them and remember them because they will make reference back to them when certain behaviors occur. The Library near us has a huge number of them, as does our church library.