Categorized | Parenting, Toddler Behaviour

Tattling – How To Deal With This Behaviour Problem In Children

Tattling is telling or whining about the actions of a person. This behaviour is very common to children. Dealing with tattling can be very frustrating. So how can parents handle this behaviour problem in children? Here are some simple techniques you can try.

Know The Reason

Before you scold your toddler for tattling, find out the reason why he is doing it. Children have a lot of energy and they expend some of that by talking and most often, they tattle not because they mean to harm others but rather, they are confused of the things going on around them.

Teach Your Toddler How To Cope In Other Ways

Teach your toddler how to make decisions and resolve certain problems on his own through reporting. This way, he feels assured that he can handle things by himself. Practice role playing with your little one by giving him examples of tattling and reporting and have him identify the difference between tattling and reporting. Explain to your toddler that if someone is in danger, he should report to an adult. If someone is annoying him, he should talk to the child who is bugging him and if he wants to tattle about something that is not really a problem, it would be best to keep quiet and report it to himself.


Start by saying “I know you are frustrated…” or “It is normal to feel that way…”. Let your tattling toddler fully state his apprehensions and listen carefully so you can figure out the real reason behind his tattling. Understanding from an adult, especially from parents can boost a toddler’s self-control, which makes the child less likely to tattle and try solving the problem in a violent manner.

Ignore It

If your little one tattles for no significant reason, it would be best to ignore him. So the next time your toddler comes running to you informing you how his baby brother stuck his tongue out at him, just tell him that you will talk about it later or make him draw a detailed picture of what happened. Chances are, this will become very tiresome for your toddler and he will soon realize that the time and effort he exerts in giving you a blow-by-blow report is worthless.

Be Firm

Never join an argument as this is your tattling toddler’s way to ask for your help. This will only reinforce the behaviour by helping him achieve what he wants and you also risk disciplining the other toddler unfairly.

Bond With Your Toddler

Sometimes, tattling may be a result of your toddler’s need for attention. Spend a lot of one-on-one time with your little one. You can read him stories, do arts and crafts, play board games, cook together or go to the park.

Tattling is a normal part of development for children. But, by coming up with ways to help redirect this behaviour into something more fruitful, your toddler’s tattling ways will be considerably reduced.

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