Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Backwards Works-for-me-Wednesday

It's a backwards WFMW which means instead of offering advice, I'm going to ask for advice today. Here's my dilemma...

I've got two girls ages 5 and 8. The 8-year-old likes to pester and the 5-year-old likes to tattle. Both are getting out of hand. Any advice from all you been there, done that, bought the t-shirt moms?

For more WFMW, head over to Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer.

8 comments:

Melissa said...

We've had a big talk about tattling at our house lately....we tell the girls they have to try and work things out before they involve a parent. If that proves unsuccessful, then they can ask for some assistance. But, they cannot come to us to tattle before they try and talk to the offender first.
I also talk to my older ones about bullying and mean spiritness and ask them how that fits into God's plan for their lives.

We ask the three questions (I forget who I got this from):
1. Is it kind?
2. Is it necessary?
3. Is it true?

It seems to work when we consistently reinforce it. We've grounded from computer time, TV time and play dates if the above criteria is not met after a warning/reminder.

We are THAT Family said...

My first two are close in age and when they go thru periods of this, I ask them to serve each other (dinner and room cleanup, helping, etc) Seems to get their minds off themselves for a little while.

Livin' Life said...

I have the opposite problem. With three boys we don't hear the tattling we hear the tumbling and wrestling as they take matters in their own hands. i actually have to tell them to come and talk to me first. I guess I want them to tattle instead of a Brotherly Death Match.:)

Jenni said...

I personally think that it's important for young children to be able to tattle. It's definitely better than lashing out and escalation, violence, or feeling powerless and abused. If you are able to set aside the time to stop and mediate each time, you can model for them how to solve their issues. Of course, I'm only speaking from my memories as a child - I have no idea how simple/horribly difficult that might be as a mom! Mine are too little for tattling...

The Gang's All Here! said...

We are working on this - sometimes I swear that Dr. D doesn't even like LadyBug, he pesters her so. But when I catch it, I make him serve her (making her bed, taking a job of hers, etc.).

And for the tattling: I've tried to enforce that tattling is only acceptable when a safety rule is broken or it's an emergency. For the rest of the mishaps, I ask them to try and talk it out or remove themselves if that fails.

Big confession: when the two of them were really little and REALLY going at it, I tied them together (gently!) with bandanas at the wrist and elbow. They had to go for the rest of the day (except for potty and naps) tied together. My goal was to teach them to negotiate together, to work things out and to remind them that they are tied together for life - brothers and sisters are permanent! They still remember it and KNOW that is one threat I WILL make good on if pushed!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Our house rule is to tell if someone will get hurt or if something will get broken. If they come to me with gossip I send them away to talk to the person themselves about the problem. But the big exception is that if anyone tries to make you do something that makes you feel upset it is always okay to tell even if they say not to.

Classic MaMa said...

I have no good advice, just flash backs. :) I was the tatteler, of course, and Brother Bear was the pesterer. Boy could he pester! He was so much older than me that he could pester in a way that made me look bad if I tattled. However, he's now one of my very bestest friends. So, perhaps looking at the future will help a bit here in the present. Like The Original Classic Mama used to say, "He only bothers you because he loves you. If he didn't like you, he'd leave you alone." :)

SAHMmy Says said...

I'm not at this stage in motherhood yet--LOL I actually want my 4 year old to tattle on his baby sister right now so I know if she's getting into something! But at Christmas we had 9 kids in the same house and all the cousins wanted to tattle on one another. We finally instituted a rule: if nobody fell down the stairs, work it out amongst yourselves.