Okay all you parents out there, I need advice! My 5 year old was taught repeatedly in preschool to let the teachers know if any of the students were doing something wrong. They kept a close watch on behavior and manners. And I reinforced it by asking her, when she would come home with tales of hitting, if she had told the teachers. I wanted to help her become someone who walks away from violence, instead of reacting. And similarly, her teachers were big on using words to solve problems, instead of physical interactions. So basically, what we've created is a tattle tale.
Which I don't mind to some degree. I always want her to feel she can come to me with problems. And she helps me keep an eye on George (although she does feel the need to tell me of even the smallest rule infractions, all day, every day). The problem arises when she plays with her friends. There is a family on our street that has a daughter close in age to Emma. On a street full of boys, this little girl is, by default, Emma's best friend. This family is nice enough, and I'm glad Emma has a friend close by, but their rules and behavior are much different from ours. I could go on and on about that, but suffice it to say that when the girls get together there is a LOT of tattling going on. Again, I can deal with that....when they're at our house. But when she goes over there and complains to the other mom about bad behavior, well, it doesn't go over quite as well. And granted, she's VERY quick to tattle.
Which brings us to my question. How to temper this impulse? I'm trying to teach her to talk to the person breaking the rules first, not to run straight to the adults. But as we all know, little kids don't necessarily obey other kids. I don't want Emma to be a whiney kid that complains to the adults, every time something doesn't go her way. But heck, I also don't want her getting hit! It's so hard to teach that fine line between dealing with something yourself, and getting someone else involved. How did/do you do it?