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What are the consequences for tattling and arguing?

my 5 and 8 year old tattle on each other litterly all day long (unless they are at school). Then they argue from the minute they walk out of their bed rooms in the morning til they go to their bed rooms at night again unless they are at school.

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:12 AM on Oct. 2, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (4)
  • normal.

    when they argue- separate them

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 8:20 AM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • have you tried playing board games with them?
    and then when they begin to argue teach them effective was to disagree without misbehaving?

    you could also have a family definition and i.e. timeouts for tattling. you'll also want to offer rewards when they are telling you something that needs to be told.

    Answer by feralxat at 8:44 AM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • Yes, as mentioned above, those situations present opportunities to offer guidance & support. Think of guidance as the commitment you make to teaching children how to solve their problems (and resolve their conflicts) rather than punishing them for having problems they haven't yet learned how to solve. Think of the behaviors (tattling, arguing) as signals that they just lack strategies & skills.

    It's helpful to reflect on how routine parental responses have inadvertently contributed to dynamics we dislike, or how they set up the patterns we wish to change now. Tattling is a big one. When we orient kids to us as the arbiters of decisions about justice & punishment, we essentially pit siblings against each other & promote thinking in terms of winning mom or dad to their "side." We set ourselves up as judge & jury when we "take action" each time there's a complaint (deciding the complaint either is justified or just "tattling.")

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:21 AM on Oct. 2, 2013

  • So that's the dynamic I'd begin trying to shift. It's a matter of holding back from making those "calls" yourself; instead hearing them out for their complaints, then guiding them through a process. This can be a matter of orienting them to themselves/their own internal reactions.Consult the child: "Did you like that?" When she says "No!" then you prompt her with what to do when you don't like something! In the beginning, go with them & model the exact process of communication you want to see from them, eventually. Walk them through HOW to proceed with resolving conflicts.
    Kids miss out on ALL of this when mom or dad responds to the complaint by 1)deciding if it's "valid" or not, and 2)proceeding with carrying out justice. They also miss out on seeing their parents as allies of them (ALL the children) rather than Forces to "win over" to their side "against" other siblings. So just start shifting that pattern.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:48 AM on Oct. 2, 2013

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