Tattle-Taling and A Printable

The last few weeks in our house have been filled with too much tattle-taling.

"Mom, she won't play with me."
"Mom, tell him to stop touching that"


Sound Familiar?

So, I called a family meeting and we sat down to talk about all the tattling. We had talked about tattling before, but this time I decided to use a new approach. To educate our kids.

We taught the kids the difference between "Informing" and "Tattling".

It has only been one week and there has been a marked difference in our kids behavior. Hope it can help you too.

This is modified from a handout I saw at our son's school.

Note added 07/28/2012: This printable and it's content, is a modification of a handout that I saw at our son's school. It has since been brought to my attention that it is originally from material created by SuEllen Fried A.D.T.R. From what I have been able to deduce, you can find the content in her book "30 Activities for Getting Better at Getting Along". You can find more information on her site,

I worked through each of the characteristics on the list above. As we went, the kids had lots of "...but what if..." questions. We answered every one so that the differences were clear and I felt confident they understood. 

We gave examples of what might be important, or unimportant, or what might be dangerous etc... We talked for over an hour. It was great. 

The sign is now posted in our kitchen, and also in our playroom so that the kids can refer to it when they are trying to decide if they are tattling or informing. I also asked them to refer to the chart first, before they start hollering my name. ;)

I have tried to make the information into a printable for you. Not sure how successful I have been, but my hope is that you can drag the image to your desktop and then print it off if you would like to put it in your house, or in your classroom, or even use it for Sunday School.

Where can you put this chart in your house?
Do your kids need to learn the difference between "informing" and "tattling"?


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks AimeeKay, I would love to hear how it works for you.

  2. Yes, this has been a struggle in our home! How to help little ones understand the difference? Thank you for being an answer to the problem. Can't wait to present this to my family!! I'll be adding some magnetic tape and sticking it to the fridge as it seems most tattling happens during that lovely time of day when kids are tired and hungry and I'm frantically trying to get dinner prepared. Thank you!

    1. Hi Nancy, I am so glad that this is going to help. I would love to hear how it goes. I agree, the late afternoon right before dinner IS a crazy time of day.

  3. This is very helpful. Thanks, Heather!

    1. Thanks Suzanne. It is a great way to teach kids (or as leslieholly said, adults:)) the difference.

  4. This is amazing! I'm a foster momma who has just about lost it on more than one occasion just this week with dealing with tattling. It's especially difficult when you have kiddos coming from different homes, where things were "handled" differently. Getting everyone on the same page is challenging, and new kiddos coming in and out of the mix all the time makes it all the more difficult to manage. I love your approach and can't wait to give it a try!!! I'm also wondering if you wouldn't mind me sharing this on my blog soon?

    Chelsea Ann

  5. This is great. I'm not sure that there aren't some adults who could use this reminder!

    1. Leslieholly, haha, I had to laugh out loud at that one. You are right. There are some adults I know who could use this reminder too.

  6. Absolutely wonderful!! Thank you :)

  7. This is such a fantastic idea!

    My kids are still really little (under six) and would have trouble reading all of this, but my oldest could definitely stand a session on the difference between tattling and informing.

    Visiting from the Networking Blog Hop and loving what I'm seeing.

    I'm a new follower and would love for you to stop by for a visit! : )

    ~Abbie (

  8. And the angels sang! This is just what I need at my house! My girls are in a seemingly unending battle to out tattle each other!!! Thank you for sharing!

  9. the "copy image" and "paste" to a word document worked for me! Thanks so much for sharing. I will use this at home and in my classroom.

  10. Love this list! Playdates can sometimes become nightmares because of "helpful" buddies!! Thanks for posting!

  11. Tattletale, make it stop" encapsulates the plea to end needless gossip or complaints. It emphasizes the need for positivity and constructive communication. How Mobile Hack Focusing on solutions rather than grievances promotes a healthier, more productive environment.


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