Dial back tattling with suggestions that help kids solve problems cooperatively.
Discussion point: We show love to others when we are patient and not easily angered.
As parents, we all get many reports of unkindness, otherwise known as tattling. As these reports come in, refer your children to 1 Peter 4:8.
The key message to convey is that the Bible tells us God can put His love in their hearts to help them be kind and patient with others (Galatians 5:22-23).
Emphasize that we can show love to others by being patient instead of easily angered and by letting others have their way rather than demanding what we want (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Luke 6:31). Summarize by explaining that when your children respond with kindness in difficult situations, they are demonstrating God's love.
Work with your children to come up with some suggestions for solving problems cooperatively, and practice the solutions in role-play situations.
Some helpful questions to ask when a child is tattling on another, are:
- Have you tried to solve the problem by talking to ________ [the other child]?
- How can you show kindness in return?
- Did ________ hurt your body or your feelings?
- Was it on purpose or by mistake?
- Could you ask them to wait until you are finished playing with the toy to have a turn?
1 Peter 4:8
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”