Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tattle Tailing

 Tattling.  Dude.  My kids.  They've got it bad.

You know that song "basketball jones" (the Space Jam version.  I am a child of the early 90s after all. ;) ) When I first heard that song, I didn't really know what a basketball jones was.  I asked my dad and he told me a jones was, essentially, a strong craving for something. An obsession.

That.  That's what my kids are like with tattling.  Like they are obsessed with it.

Everything I've read says to ignore.  Ignore.  IGNORE.

Check. Check. Check.

To the point where I don't even respond.  I don't even look at them.

Usually its a back and forth.

"Mommy!  O said my hair looks funny!"
"But, he said I'm stinky!"
"But, then she was going to punch me!"

"Mommy!  A said I'm a booger face!"
"Isaac was messing up my stuff!"

I can't even remember the last time some one worked it out on their own.  Of course, when it comes to the important stuff, like Eliza standing on the dining room table or Eliza eating markers, or Isaac painting the bathroom with toothpaste, that gets ignored.  No one tattles on that.

All of the stuff I've read is really geared towards young kids.  Obviously, I still want them to tell me somethings (like above mentioned activities, or if some stranger was trying to touch them, etc.)

So.  What do you do with this?  What do you do in your house?  Hurry.  Because Mommy is starting to jones for some wine.  (The grape kind, not the kid kind.)


d e v a n said...

It's a losing battle. Partly, for me, because I do want them to tell me some stuff but I just don't want to hear all the stupid crap. (He's looking out my window!)
I usually just listen and then deal with whatever it was, even if my response is that I want them to work it out on their own. Sometimes I show them how, and sometimes I just tell them to figure it out. Still. Losing battle.

Heidi said...

I have NO clue if this will work. With Gabe's complaining, I've started making him tell me three positive things. Or if he's mean to me, he has to say three things he appreciates about me (not just doing this to get him to say nice things to me - I'd have him do it if he were mean to others, too, but I usually get the brunt of it). I'm not sure yet if it's making a difference, but it at least makes me feel like I'm handling a very annoying/upsetting behavior with some sort of positive slant.

Susan said...

My kids aren't huge tattlers (they're "take matters into their own hands" kids, which is sometimes awesome and other times not). But when they *do* get into a tattling habit, I have often asked them, "Are you telling me this to help keep someone safe, or are you telling me this to get someone in trouble?" I want them to know that, if Fiona is on the roof, or the baby is eating diaper cream, or Sam is threatening Lucie with a nail file, I WANT them to come get me or another adult. But if Sam says a bad word, or Fiona takes two cookies when I said they could have one, or Lucie's reading in bed after I said lights out...meh. Now you're just trying to get someone else in trouble, and that's every bit as much "against the rules" as any of those other things.

What if the tattler and the tattlee both get the same punishment--except when the "tattling" (which isn't tattling at all) is of the "keep someone safe" nature?