I think ages 3 and 4 are the tattle ages, right? I mean, I am sure that it continues into 5, 6, and 7 (and so on), but I haven’t gotten that far in our familial journey, so I can only speak to what I have already experienced. And with a 4 year old—he likes to try to rat out his friends. I have already talked about how I have been working with him on being a good friend and one of these parts of being a good friend is to not rat out your friends, right? I mean, no one likes to hang out with someone who isn’t gonna keep your secrets.
So, having said that, we have a rule in our house about tattle telling…I don’t want to hear it. If Cooper Jack took your car—ask for it back nicely. If Bradley threw sand at you, ask him to stop nicely! If he does it again, walk away and go play somewhere else! Jeesh!
Now, please note that there is a time that he is allowed to tattle—if someone is touching his penis or his booty. No, really, that’s the rule! I actually think it’s pretty genius. And it works. It gets to the heart of what he is allowed to tattle about and what is unacceptable. I want him to know the difference between tattling and knowing when someone is hurting him or any of his friends! I don’t expect him to get the full gist of it at 4, but I am laying the foundation for full comprehension! Hey, there are weirdo’s out there—people we may know and strangers! So…here’s the deal, and it’s a rule we can all live by—no tattle telling…unless someone is touching your penis or booty (well, if you don’t want them to! Just sayin’!).
Scenario: In line at Disneyland waiting to get on Pirates! Teen couple in front of us FULLY making out. His hands on her boobies and serious groans as well as “I love you so much” flying back and forth!
K: Mommy, why don’t we kiss with our tongues when you give me kisses? Like that!!!
Me: Um… well… that’s a different kind of kissing.
K: But we could do it like they are (pointing at the couple STILL making out).
Me: No Baby, we can’t.
K: But why?
Me: *After a LONG pause… When you are an adult we can talk about it, ok?
K: (tapping the boy who is STILL groping his girlfriend)—Excuse me! Do you have to go potty?
TMG (Teen Make out guy): Uh, hey… no, why?
TMGF (Teen Make out girlfriend): Oooooh! He is so cute!!!
K: (Pointing to his crotch) She’s touching your penis and my Mommy says that when I grab my penis like that, I gotta go pee!
TMG and TMGF say nothing, but just smile and turn around and quit making out! They ask to be on a different boat when we get to the front of the line!
*Oh to be 16 again, but my son is right, if she’s gonna grope your junk in line at Disneyland, maybe y’all need to take it to the bathroom! Hrmph!