Parenting Connection: How to manage a child’s tattling

Parenting Connection

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to manage your child’s tattling.

Look, we’ve all done it, and many times a tattle turns out to be helpful — especially if it removes a small kid or kids from a dangerous situation. But, as many parents know — most tattles don’t end in a saving the day moment.

In fact, according to experts with the Michigan State University Extension, children tattle because they want attention and/or see behavior they know is wrong and want everyone to know that they’re not the only one doing it. Experts say, it’s good when kids want their parents or caregivers to know about the things they see and hear, but how you react to tattling can positively impact their behavior, so keep the following tips in mind when your child tattles:

*Avoid sending mixed messages
*Ignore any tattling you hear unless someone is in danger
*Recognize that your child knows right from wrong
*Ask your child to solve the problem together with the other child involved
*Praise your child when they try to solve their own problems

Child development experts say implementing good strategies for managing tattling will do two big things. First, it will encourage children to report significant events — like those that threaten someone’s emotional or physical safety — and help children develop independent problem-solving skills. Two major qualities you want your kids to have.

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