My Daughter Is A Tattle Tale

Dear Sara,

My five year old daughter has become a terrible tattle tale. We live in a neighborhood with lots of children and she tattles to me and to the other kids parents. The other kids are becoming wary of playing with her. I’ve told her to stop doing this, but she keeps doing it. What can I do to make her stop?

Dear Jan,

Your daughter must get some kind of reward for this behavior, probably attention. Hopefully you can get rid of the behavior before she starts school because she certainly will have problems with the kids at school if she continues.

One way to extinguish the behavior would be to ignore it. Give the least amount of attention to this behavior that you can. Try to talk to the other mother in your neighborhood to see if they would cooperate with you and try to ignore her tattling as well.

Try to give her your attention in other ways. Pay attention when she talks to you about other things and engage her in a little conversation. Plan for some time every day that you can do something together like read or cook. For some reason or other she needs more attention that she’s getting.

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