MamaBlogger365 – The Daily Tattle Battle by Kate Fineske

News Flash!

We are interrupting your regularly scheduled programming to bring you breaking news!

Reporting to you LIVE from the top of the stairs is… my middle child – here to tell you all about …

How-it-wasn’t-fair …
How-it’s-“JUST-NOT-FAIR-mom! She-WON’T-let-me-into-her-room!”

Or, whatever else my middle child might have said… because, if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times – the big “headline” story, straight from the tattler’s mouth.

A Million Tiny Reporters

What comforts me is that I’m not alone. I am strangely reassured that my middle son is not obsessed with tattling abnormal, because:

  • My oldest child does it.
  • The neighbor’s kids do it.
  • The random kids at the park do it.
  • ALL the kids at my daughter’s school do it.
  • I’m sure I did it many times at one time when I was a kid. (I know my sisters did it!)
  • In fact, even my 18 month-old son does it!

Every. Kid. I’ve ever known. EVER. Tattles.


Some, even tattle MORE (maybe?) than my 5-year-old middle son!

So, here’s my question: If most every kid, everywhere, has at one time or another tattled, why is it that I still struggle with how to deal with this issue as a parent?

You would think, since parents everywhere have tiny in-house “staff” reporters, that there would be an award-winning, problem solving, tried and true solution to help stop the “tabloid” chatter amongst children everywhere. Right?

Silencing the Child Informant “Reporter”

There have been some ridiculous reportings during our family’s “news flashes,” such as:

“Mooooooommmm! Big sis just pulled a strand of hair from my head!”

— OR—

“Mooooooommmm! Little brother just took my Kleenex!”


Yet sometimes there has been some important news delivered too, like:

“Mooooooommmm! The baby just climb out of his crib and took my pencil!”
(Um-mm… REALLY???)

And all these “reportings” just lead me to MORE parenting questions such as:

  • How do we teach our kids which “news stories to report” and which are best kept to themselves?
  • How do we coach our children to be more self sufficient when dealing with conflict?
  • How do we, as parents, respond to our child when their “reports” get out of control?

In fact, as I am writing this post, in the background my daughter is saying:

“Ouch! Mooooommm! My brother just hit me!”

Now, on one hand, we DO NOT approve of hitting. But on the other hand… really??? Do I even respond? She’s perfectly fine, and they are playing legos two minutes later as I finish typing this sentence.

(FYI, I chose to ignore the tattle and instead just gave my 8-year-old daughter a look like “You can deal with this yourself, RIGHT?“)

I am good at ignoring the tattles. I am also pretty good at dealing with the tattles that I feel require a response. What I am not so good with is stopping the tattles.

A Journalist in the Making?

A good reporter has a code of ethics, an understanding of objectivity and an avoidance of sensationalism.

A good reporter should also have outstanding credibility.

Credibility – could this be the key to curbing my kids tattles?

Maybe, if I take notice to the tattles that are credible and important and choose to ignore (or at least show less priority to) the “sensationalized reports,” I can help teach my children what’s more important. But I am open to other ideas…???

News Flash!

We are interrupting your regularly scheduled programming to bring you breaking news!

Reporting to you LIVE from my home office… is me, the mom – here to tell you …

There are so many things I still don’t get as a parent.

Leave a comment. What is the most ridiculous thing your child has ever tattled about? How do you deal with tattling and work at teaching your kids the difference between when to tell and when to try to deal with a situation themselves?


This post has been contributed on behalf of The National Association of Mothers Centers, whose mission is to create a community of women, who through mutual support and public advocacy, explore, enrich and value the maternal experience.

The post author, Kate Fineske, currently is a staff member with the National Association of Mothers’ Centers where she maintains and provides the content to the Mothers Central Blog – the Parenting Blog of the NAMC. She is also responsible for helping the NAMC work to build stronger connections and support with the local Mothers’ Center Chapters nationally.

Kate is a longtime member of the National Association of Mothers’ Centers through her local chapter of the Mothers’ Center of Greater Toledo in Ohio. She and her husband are busy raising 3 children ages 1-8. Kate’s professional background is as a graphic designer in the creative and education industry. Since 2005, she has been using her professional skills by actively volunteering with the Mothers’ Center of Greater Toledo in various leadership positions. She also blogs personally at

You can connect with Kate via Twitter (@katefineske) and/or also connect with the NAMC via twitter (@MothersCenters) or Facebook.

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