As parents, it’s important to teach your child alternatives to tattling, so they can work through disagreements and develop healthy relationships!

If you notice your little one is always running to tell on their friends and siblings, you can use these tips to discourage that behavior:

  1. Don’t directly address the situation

If you run to correct the behavior your child is tattling about, they will think they’ve done a good deed by coming to you instead of working through it themselves. Unless someone is about to get hurt to break something, acknowledge your tattler’s feelings, and encourage them to communicate with the perpetrator instead of you.

  1. Teach problem-solving skills

Help your little one understand how they can solve issues without getting you involved. For example, if one of your kids won’t let the other play with a toy, teach them the importance of sharing and how to agree.

  1. Ask your tattler what would make the problem better

When your child comes to you with a bit of gossip, give them a few options for making things better. Once they pick one, give them the go-ahead to use that solution and praise them for their ability to manage the situation! This will increase their confidence over time, and eventually they will come to you less often.

  1. Explain when tattling is and isn’t appropriate

You should absolutely know if one of your kids is about to jump off the stairs or toss a baseball at a lamp! In these circumstances, tattling is welcome. However, you probably don’t need to know if someone is sneaking a cookie or laying on their sibling’s bed. Explaining the difference to your kids will communicate that you’re here when needed, but they can handle many things themselves.


Here at Imagine, we discourage tattling in the classroom by helping our students learn conflict-resolution skills. Contact us to learn more!