I always want my child to know that he can come to me with any kind of problem. No matter how big or small I want him to feel comfortable and know he can always come to me. That is why I will never discourage tattling.
I will always listen and give him suggestions on how to handle whatever problem. If I need to, I will get involved. Tattling, telling on someone else is a perfect teachable moment. When Little Dude comes to me and say, “she’s not sharing” or “they pushed me” or whatever the tattle maybe. I listen and I offer suggestions, and I ask “how do you think you could solve it”.
I want to teach my son he can always come to me and tell me anything. By listening to his problems even if it is that so and so won’t share. I’m showing him I care about his problems by listening and talking with him.
Today it’s tattling about who won’t share or who pushed him. Maybe in his teen years it will be about picking him up from a party because his friend got drunk and can’t drive, or about asking that girl out. As an adult it maybe, where should he buy that diamond engagement ring for that same girl.
If I discourage tattling I am telling my son, I don’t want to hear it. I’m sending the message that he can’t communicate with mommy because she doesn’t want to hear it. Tattling is communication and I want my son to communicate with me. When he come to me to tattle about something I listen. I offer suggestions on how to handle it himself and if need be I get involved.
I’m not running to his rescue. I’m listening and teaching him how to communicate and how to listen. In preschool, communication takes the form of tattling. However, if parents push that communication away we may send the wrong message to our kids? Parents are not approachable, they don’t listen and parents aren’t there for them? By listening and helping our kids solve the simplest problems, we build trust with them and they will come to us with other bigger problems.