Should You Be a Tattle-Tale?

11 Jun

I read an interesting book lately that turns a lot of parenting theories on their heads. And, one of the most compelling chapters had to do with tattle-taling (is that a word?)What I learned went against everything I used to believe as a parent. I was told that a parent shouldn’t allow tattle-taling at all. If a child is prone to tattle-taling, then, I have to shut it down. It’s wrong, I was told. And, I believed it.

However, the book really made a good point: When a child tells you someone else is doing something wrong, he is telling you because he knows the difference between right and wrong. He’s noticed someone doing something wrong, and he wants to let you know.untitled (53)

However, what do we do as parents? We tell them NOT to do that. We tell them that it’s wrong to point out the problem, and some parents even discipline their children for doing so.

The book pointed out how backwards this is–and what it teaches them. Essentially, telling them NOT to tattle-tale teaches them that they should ignore someone who does something bad or else THEY will get in trouble.

It’s backwards because, as parents, we want our children to know the difference between right and wrong–and to let someone know if they witness a bad choice.

So, I’ve done a 180 myself–no longer do I poo-poo tattle-taling. I actually praise it now. I want my children to grow up to be adults who notice when someone is doing something bad. And, yes, I want them to tell someone.


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