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Quit Tattling on Children

by Heather Bernt-Santy
May/June 2022
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/quit-tattling-on-children/5026570/

“He was very ornery today.”

“She refused to nap today, so good luck tonight.”

“We are concerned because we saw a lot more behaviors today.”

“He is the worst behaved child we have ever had.
Totally disrespectful.”

“We had to put him in time out repeatedly today because he was having such a hard time being compliant.”

Each of these statements reflect behavior reports that have been said to a family member by someone in their child’s early childhood setting. Tattling on children at the end of their day is neither helpful nor effective, and should have no place in a field filled with mission statements that promise commitments to quality, family engagement, partnership, learning, meeting needs, and understanding child development. 

Tattling on Children

When children come to us with stories of others’ wrongdoings, with the hope that we will punish the offender or praise the reporter, we call it “tattling.” This is a behavior parenting books and early childhood education workshops discourage and pathologize. Yet, when early childhood educators do the same at the end of the day, we try to call it “partnership.” We are taught that sharing behavior reports will help us to build relationships with families, to engage families in ...

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