I saw an article today that raised a good point. The article was about a mother imploring others to tell her if her child has been being rude or disrespectful, has begun to engage in questionable behavior, is suspected of doing drugs or drinking alcohol, and pretty much anything else that a kid could be doing wrong. Most of us feel like we want to know if our little bundles of joy are being harbingers of bad times, but we often become conflicted when the shoe is on the other foot.
Would You Want to Know?
This question can help you navigate some complex situations. If your children are playing and get a little rough and one hurts the other unintentionally, you may not need to hear about that. That’s not necessarily behavior that needs to be corrected, just a little friendly rough housing. If your child angrily whips something at another child or storms through someone else’s home yelling and hollering, however, you probably would want to know. Act accordingly when it’s someone else’s kid pulling stunts.
Be Wary of Handling It Yourself
If someone else’s child is misbehaving in your house, you may need to take action to stop the madness. However, you should refrain from punishing the child or even yelling at the child, other than what it takes to get the behavior to stop. Bring the matter to the child’s parent rather than handle it yourself, because they may handle it much differently than you do. If you try to take matters into your own hands, the parent may disagree with your tactics and it can start a whole new level of problems.
Talk About “Tattle Taling” with Other Parents
In some cases, it may be best to be up front about this type of thing when your child makes a friend. Make it a point to have a conversation with your child’s best friend’s parents to let them know that you want to know any time your child does something they wouldn’t approve of. In many cases, they will say the same. That will make it all the easier to go to them later on and tell them about anything that catches your attention.