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Moms Talk: I'm a Tattletale, Are You?

In this week's Moms Talk we discuss if and when it's OK to tattle on another parent.

Hello. My name is Raven. I’m a tattletale.

"Hi, Raven."

Like most parents, I’m raising my children to be anti-tattling. “I don’t wanna hear about it unless somebody’s bleeding” is the usual mantra around here. I don’t want my kids to be the ones who run to the adults and tell every little misdeed that occurs. I want them to work it out themselves and find a reasonable solution everyone can live with.

Nobody likes a squealer, right? Right.

However, in certain cases I think it’s good to be a tattler. Particularly if your tattling might prevent a seriously bad outcome for the involved parties.

As for myself, I tattle only when the safety or lives of others are in danger. If I’m on the road and see you driving along with your kids unrestrained in the car, you can bet your sweet behind I’ll call and report you.

If we are in public and your child is whirling about injuring other children and nary a peep of warning or admonishment comes from your lips, I will point you out to the management of the establishment. This will come only after I’ve given you fair warning with several pointed stares or harrumphs.

If you are enabling an underage child in behaviors that could lead to danger for that child, I’m gonna tell on you.

When it comes to tattling on kids, that’s a fine line to walk. It’s hard to tell another parent that you saw graphic photos of their child on Facebook or saw them drinking in a car with their friends, but those are both instances when somebody needs to stand up and tell. And you just might save a family a lot of future heartache.

I know I’d want someone to tell me.

What do you think, moms? Is it okay to tattle? Have you ever had to tell on another parent or a child?

Agnes Nutter February 17, 2012 at 04:06 PM
The rule in my house is that we ask ourselves "Why am I telling?" If it's just to get someone in trouble, then we don't tell, even if we are really, really offended that they might get away with their misdeeds. Even if they are really, really getting on our nerves and we think getting them in trouble would make them stop. If it's for some other reason -- to keep someone from getting seriously hurt, or to get help for someone who is already hurt, for example -- then telling is okay, even if it also gets the person in trouble.
Cheryl Miller April 27, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I tell my daughter to handle things the best that she can in every situation, but at the end of the day, she can always tattle or tell me anything. I don't think tattling has the stigma it did when we were young... with school shooting, bullies and teachers who cheat ... I'd rather hear everything than have my child feel like she is alone in a difficult situation with no one to talk to about it. It likely depends on the age of kids involved, too. My child is still very young so I'm still very protective.

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