The child obtains certain skills during the first years of his/her life. When grown up to a preschooler, your kid becomes more and more independent in daily routine activities like eating, going to washroom, doing basic cleaning up. The child is able to make a choice of the things he/she plays with, can ride a bicycle for example, and of course, the child develops broader vocabulary, hence the language now is the fastest way for him/her to convey thoughts. However, sometimes you might notice that the child is not just conveying the thoughts, trying to make a conversation, but actually informs you about other people’s actions. This is when the tattletale term comes in front.
Tattletale is one of the most common types of behavior among young children. Tattling can result in loss of friends, arising arguments and even fights. So don’t take this child’ behaviour lightly, especially if the child doesn’t outgrow this habit after 8 years. The childhood experts suggest parents to explore the motives behind this behaviour in order to finally stop it. Get to know some facts
1. Before the ages 7-8 many children simply don’t distinguish the things which have to be told and the things which don’t need to be told. If the child is tattling again, listen, but stop him/her and ask whether somebody is hurt or is anyone crying, if he/she answers “no”, tell that the information didn’t have to be told.
2. The child doesn’t know yet how to resolve the arising problems and can be seeking adult’s help. Explain your child that the people can work out the solution on their own if they are in peace and no one hurts each other. Make your child believe in his/her ability to take care of the situation.
3. Don’t scold your child every time he/she tattles, as this may intercept communication between you and him/her. Better listen to what he/she is saying. If it’s a trivial tattling again, minimize your response, and with time these talks may abate.
4. Children should understand the hurtful consequences of tattling and whenever possible, they should apologize for inappropriate tattling.
5. Be ready to work with your child over and over, helping him/her to overgrow tattling. It took the child a long time to become a master of tattling, be consistent, patient and understand that change will happen with time.
What concerns the preschool teachers, they are exposed to a few tattletale behaving children in the classroom. Sometimes tattling can dement a teacher. Dan Gartrell of The National Association for the Education of Young Children says in his guidelines for teachers (2007): “With individual children who do get into the “tattling habit,” however, teachers might take a two-step approach. First, address the situation. Pay enough attention to it so that you know children are not being harmed. Second, figure out how to acknowledge the child in other ways, building your relationship and the child’s self-esteem. For example, “Emily, thank you for your concern. I will watch the situation and take care of it if I need to.” (Repeat if needed.) “Say, would you like to read a book with me later? Why don’t you go pick out one!” (During conversation with the child around the book, you might talk about how the child can make contact with you in other ways besides tattling.)”