Q: Suddenly it seems as if all I ever hear out of my children is, "I'm TELL-ING!' I'm so tired of hearing them TELL on every little thing--from, "He drank out of my cup!" to "She kicked me!" to even "The dog licked my hand!" How do I make it stop?
A: Ah yes, the tattle phase . . . hang in there because they will grow out of it, and there are some ways that you can speed that process up. Of course, you do want to be sure that you've established that you do need to know if there's any kind of danger; in other words, "Tell me if someone is bleeding, hurt, or scared, but other than that, I don't need to know." Especially with siblings, sometimes tattling can be a way to compete; I'm better-behaved than my sibling. But honestly, sometimes it just becomes a favorite past-time. So give them the choice: Do you want to work this out on your own or do you want me to get involved? Then demonstrate what it means for you to get involved in a big way: make each child go to a separate room and have no contact with each other for the afternoon. If they realize that they're in danger of being isolated from the other, they may decide that they don't want your help after all (and you can get some peace)!
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