Remember Dee from the show What’s Happening? You don’t? Well I do!
Dee was so nosey and sassy and always getting her brother Roger in trouble! And do you remember her always yelling, “Oooo I’m gonna tell momma!” And momma would get that long belt that looked like a dog leash with every intention to spank Roger for doing something off the cuff that teens boys typically do. And Dee had a smart mouth. Sassy. She made you wanna reach through the TV screen and wring her neck!
See, I’ve got a Dee. Except my child is named Milan.
And at age 8 she’s the sassiest little lightweight with much mouth and the nosey knack for always minding somebody got darn business. And she’s getting on my last nerve! I told her next time she tell me somebody’s business I might just act like Big Mable and pull out a belt. But that’s not the cure for curbing Milan’s big mouth. And I don’t like to beat my kids so that won’t work for me.
I’ve had to sit down a figure out a way to make Milan’s big mouth blabbing more constructive and not make her feel like her words are not worth anything. Especially because this was the kids who did NOT SPEAK AT ALL for years! Can you believe that! One doctor was so close to diagnosing her with Selective Mutism!
Now she’s cured and we can’t keep the little think from talking! Remember the RUN DMC song Shut up?
The Anatomy of a Tattle
It’s about rules. Young kids tend to be very literal, as their cognitive development cannot recognize abstract reasoning yet, Dr. Balter says. This means that when they do catch on to how to follow rules, usually at around age 7, they expect those rules to be inflexible, and it feels personal to them when other kids abide by their own, or different, set of rules.
It’s about attention or status. Often, a tattler is only looking to be noticed. If he’s feeling left out or abandoned, he may tell on someone to build up his own status or to make other kids look bad so he can be favored.
It’s about revenge. Most tattles are generally harmless, but occasionally a tattle can have a sinister root. “Sometimes it’s not only about raising status, but the child wants to hurt the other person,” Dr. Balter says. “A good way to get back at a kid who has hurt your feelings is to say something negative about [him], to get [him] in trouble.”
It’s about power. Some tattlers always want to be in charge. A tattler seeking power may likely have a strong-willed Type A personality and may want to put someone else in line.
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