4 Moms Talk about Tattling

I know it’s been quiet here, but I’m working on finishing my story of Our Unexpected Journey, look for the next installment tomorrow!  (See now I’m accountable to all of you to get it finished up.)

Be sure to visit the other moms of many as we talk about tattling:


If you have more than one child and one of them is old enough to speak then you have had to deal with tattling. If you are the parent of  a large family then you are an expert on tattling.moms of many manage

We deal with tattling as a heart issue.

For example, “Mom, Bella (2) is heading toward the road.” should be dealt with differently than, “Mom, Savannah (8) put HER school books on MY part of the table.”

Our goal is for our children to deal with others with a heart attitude of a servant. We desire that they learn to think of and treat others as more important than themselves.

 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:3-4

To this end, we require that our children follow the principles that our Lord Jesus laid out for Christians to settle disputes in Matthew 18

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

I’ve posted some specifics of how we teach our children to follow Matthew 18 in these posts Solving Sibling Squabbles and Tattling vs. Sharing Useful Information.

As our  children have gotten older, we’ve seen that we have started encouraging our teens to even more independence when it comes to handling disputes.

Just yesterday a group of 6 or 7 of our children was working on a big project in our yard. The oldest child on the task had a plan (a very good plan I might add), but was being thwarted at every turn by the next oldest child on the task. Our advice to “oldest” child was, “be a servant, be a servant, be a servant”. That required “oldest” child to work harder (rather than smarter) than would have been required had the project gone according to that child’s plan, but the truth is being a servant is rarely the ‘easy’ path and one day our children may have bosses who don’t choose the way to accomplish something that our child thinks is ‘best’.

(We did go back after the project was completed and speak with the next oldest child who was making things difficult, because after all we are responsible for training both of those kids.)

You may also be interested in:

Visit the other moms of many to see what they have to say:

Enjoy the 4 Moms posts? We wrote a book together. Buy the 4 Moms, 35+ Kids Parenting book available as an ebook or on Kindle.

And because he’s changing so quickly, here is a picture of Valor (9 months) trying out solid food for the first time.

valor solid food


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6 Responses to 4 Moms Talk about Tattling
  1. Christa
    June 13, 2013 | 11:39 am

    We are struggling with tattling in our home. Thank you for the post…I miss reading your blog but understand that your family must be a priority, especially with taking on additional children. We fostered and later adopted and I pray for you and your family regularly. It is not easy but God has changed us and blessed us through the journey.


  2. Anna
    June 13, 2013 | 1:12 pm

    Thanks so much for the post! My kids aren’t quite old enough to tattle yet, but I’ll tuck this in the back of my mind. 🙂

    I was wondering, I’m always very impressed by the ways you apply scripture to family situations. I just generally don’t think that way, maybe partly cause I grew up in a non-Christian home. I’m wondering whether you have any suggestions for thinking that way. Is it just from reading a lot of Scripture? Are there certain books you’ve found useful?

    Thanks for all of your posts! I always learn from them even if they don’t apply directly at the time.


  3. Jacqueline
    June 13, 2013 | 1:31 pm

    Really looking forward to reading the next part of your unexpected journey tomorrow!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Yep, almost finished up and it will still leave you hanging, but progress is good, right?


  4. Liz
    June 13, 2013 | 4:17 pm

    I love that verse! I have a 5,3, and baby. I am in the beginning stages of a lot of whining and tattling. It is good to have a verse to keep in my heart for issues like this!


  5. Gina, book dragon
    June 13, 2013 | 4:28 pm

    Great way to do this! I wasn’t so smart but eventually ended up with “Is there blood?” and “Are they in danger?” If the answer was no I’d ask if they really needed to tell me and that usually ended with a “not really”.

    I’m sure all of us talked about it later but with the youngest being 23, I just don’t remember!


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