A Tale of a Tattle

I'm going to look on the bright side and say my kids are practicing to be journalists. Because when it comes to being the first to report something? They're on it. Like white on rice.

Ah, who am I kidding? It's just tattling (unless, of course, they're going to write for the tabloids). And even though it's a relatively new development around here, it's driving me craaaaaaazy. Colin was sick last Thursday and Friday, so he didn't go to school. Then of course it was the weekend, and then it was Martin Luther King Day, so there was no school yesterday either. So over the course of five school-less days, when the boys were perpetually together, I heard no fewer than 12,544,263 tattles.

But they couldn't be something valid, like, you know, "So-and-so is coloring on the wall" or "So-and-so is bleeding." No. You wanna know the ones I heard with the most frequency? (Note: when you read these, your internal voice should sound like a bitterly disappointed mosquito. With PMS.) 

"Colin said I look different!'"

"Cameron said I'm orange!"

Um, WTF?

Not only that, but they will literally tackle each other in order to be the first to tell. I'll hear the commotion start in the other room: some sort of uproar that sets off the race. Then two sets of little feet thunder toward me, and as soon as they think they're within my hearing range, they both start yelling about whatever perceived injustice has gone down. Trying to drown each other out. Shoving each other out of the way. "Colin pushed me!" "Cameron said I have too much hair!" "Colin pulled down my underwear!" "Cameron tried to put his toe in my mouth!"

You get the picture.

It's tough, because it's one of those frustrating things that seems to go against everything you're trying to teach your kids. Kinda like, "Hey, don't ever talk to strangers, but you can go sit on Santa's lap and take candy from him. It's okay." I want my kids to be able to come to me with concerns, and not to feel like they can't tell me if someone is hurting them somehow. But damn. How can I get across to them that not every little thing is worth telling?

I'm trying to be optimistic about it, and hoping that it's just a phase. But I was a kid once too, and from what I remember? Kids tattle. All the time. All the way through, like, elementary. And considering Colin is only in Kindergarten, and Cameron hasn't even started yet, and Coby is just now on the verge of talking ... I'd say I'll be dealing with it for the long haul.

Unless one of you brilliant people has a solution, in which case, quit holding out on me! I'm pretty sure my sanity depends on it.


  1. Same here, I get the "Mom, Eric called me a weirdo!" Like it was a bad word or something. :-)

    I've had all 3 of them home Wed/Thur - snow days, Sat, Sun, Mon, and now again today because of snow.

    I'm about 4 days behind schedule with my work, but today I said "screw it" and am still sitting here in my PJ's. I'll get work done tonight after they're in bed.

  2. My sister and I have come up with a solution (kind of) to this problem. Whenever our kids come to tell us something, we say "thanks for sharing" and do absolutely nothing about it. Once they realize nothing is going to happen, the tattling tapers off. Then, they still feel comfortable coming to you if it's something major. Or, duct tape works really well too...

  3. we use Tina the Turkey. When my daughter tries to tattle on her brother or vice versa, I tell them, go tell Tina the Turkey all about it. Well, the secret is, there is no tina the turkey. they have to find her to tell her. if they spend all thier time trying to find her then they eventually give up and decide it's not worth it anymore. Works every time!

  4. No good suggestions, since my kids tattle over everything from standing too close or breathing too loud. Most the time I just look at them and blink. Sometimes I ask, "and...?" I'll be checking back to see if there are any great ideas.

  5. I may have an only child (so do not have to deal with his tattling), BUT I do have SECOND GRADE LUNCH DUTY. Yeah. It's lots of fun. UGH!!! The tattling! It never ends!

  6. haha! Nowadays even the valid tattles are met with an "I don't want to hear about it" in my house. :D bad word, don't care. hitting, deal with it. called a name, zip it. hahahha! I just get tired of it. they get plenty of discipline when I catch them doing stuff. Unless someone is crying or they are being mean to the baby they are coming to realize that it is pointless to tattle to me.

  7. I just keep telling my kids that they need to learn to ignore.

  8. OMG! I almost forgot those days. Mine were the same and I wish I could remember some of the ridiculous tattles right now. Good news is, they stopped around a couple years ago, now they don't even acknowledge each other's existence most the time though, so I'm not sure if that's any better. But like always it's all worth it during those rare days when they're inseperable and best buddies. It used to be they danced, ran around playing pretend games and now days they bond over technology games and school work games, yes nerd stuff. Wow your post really made me want to go wake up the kids and hug them.

  9. Three words "Oh, that's interesting"...They'll soon get the picture!!

  10. My friend is a different kind of mom.... but when her kids tattle, they have to wear their "tattle tail" to school the next day, which is actually one of her husband's long tube socks, pinned to their clothes. Cruel? Maybe. Funny? OH Yes! And when anyone asks why they have a sock pinned on, they have to let people know it's their tattle tail.


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