Talk

Advanced search

To ask you all if you tell DC off for "telling tales" / "tit-taling" etc?

(7 Posts)
MistyMountainHop Sat 10-Sep-11 10:14:15

DS (5) is going through a horribly annoying phase of being a bit of a tell tale, ie when he has his friends over, or he is playing with DD, his sister, (2.4) and i tend to retort with something like, oh stop telling tales DS

i personally hate tell-tale behaviour in other DC and it annoys the hell out of me, one of my friends DC does it constantly over the most inconsequential things and i have to grit my teeth to not say anything

but how do you stop it? and obviously sometimes things happen that are more serious than "so and so snatched my toy" etc so sometimes us parents NEED to be told

i really don't know how to deal with it, sorry, i know its probably trivial but if he does it at school he could end up making himself rather unpopular with the others

yellowsubmarine41 Sat 10-Sep-11 10:20:51

I say that unless someone is really hurt, really upset or something is broken, I don't want to know, and that I'm interested in what the DC has to say about what they're doing, not what others are doing.

However, dd (4.5) is very good at grassing her her little brother when he's climbed on the kitchen table or about to empty a plant pot, in which case I thank her. grin

I don't think there's any immediate way of stopping it, aside from gradually by feigning disinterest.

NoTeaForMe Sat 10-Sep-11 10:21:10

It's so annoying isn't it?! My baby is only 10months at the moment so no tale-telling here! However, is used to work in schools and this is such a bug bear of mine. Children who do this all the time certainly won't befriend themselves to the teacher but children quickly forget so don't worry too much about making friends!

I know it's easier said than done but rather than telling him off all the time try and explain about when telling you something is important. Teach him to think before he tells. Hopefully in time he will learn what you need to know and what he can deal with on his own. However, don't forget that what you think is very trivial can be very important to a 5 year old!

Hope that helps a bit?!

CailinDana Sat 10-Sep-11 10:21:26

My DS isn't old enough for this yet but I'm a teacher and I always punish children for telling tales. My policy is, if they have a complaint about another child they can come to me privately and tell me. Openly complaining about another person is rude and has the nasty side effect of souring the atmosphere and getting the child a reputation for being a "tattle-tale". I always explain my reasoning - I say that I am the teacher and I decide who should be punished. Telling on someone in their presence could really upset them especially if they've not done anything wrong and it could make the child telling tales very unpopular. I let the children know that I'm always open to being told if there's a problem (and plenty of children do come to me privately, so I know they're not afraid to) and if a problem isn't big enough to tell me about privately then it's not worth telling me about.

Tale-telling is generally attention-seeking behaviour. Perhaps if your DS starts telling tales you could pretend to ignore him while still listening in case it is something important? Or, every time he wants to tell a tale you take him out of the room away from the fun so that he knows tale telling is a bit of a pain and will only do it when he really needs to?

queenmaeve Sat 10-Sep-11 11:25:02

I tell them if they tell tales they will grow a tail grin

NotJustKangaskhan Sat 10-Sep-11 11:30:13

It is very awkward to balance between when they need to come tell us things and when they need to learn how to deal with things on their own (and/or are trying to get attention).

I think you have to deal with each child individually - my DS1 never tattles on anything even when he should, and my DD1 tattles on every little thing she shouldn't. So I reinforce with DD1 that she can tell X that s/he shouldn't do whatever and not say any more on the topic until she's tried dealing with it herself (that usually works and they go back happily playing, if not I'll get her to think of things she can do instead to avoid X until I can talk to them both).

With DS1 it's more tricky and we still haven't nailed it to be honest, but each time we find that he's sat by while something happened, we deal with the actual trouble makers/damagers first, then turn to him on the problem of standing by and doing nothing when something bad is happening. Still hasn't clicked for him though.

flack Sat 10-Sep-11 11:33:35

I wouldn't tell off at 5yo, I do tell them off at 8+yo. Because they don't care about breaking rules, they are just doing it to get each other in trouble!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now