This morning my son asked me “how do I tell you something without sounding like I’m telling tales?” This is a good question. Here is my answer:
- If you are telling me something you think I want to know about – then that is not telling tales, that is just giving mummy the information.
- If you want me to fix the other person – to tell them off – to tell them what to do – then that is telling tales. It is all about your heart – what do you want for the other person. Do you want them to get into trouble? Do you want them to be corrected? Instead is there something you can do to encourage that person to do the right thing without coming to mummy? That would be loving your brother, sister,or friend instead of telling tales.
- If you are in a situation, a conflict, and you don’t know what to do, or how to do the right thing, then you can come to mummy and ask, “Mummy, can I have your help please? This is happening (explain the situation) and I don’t know what to do, can you help me?” When you ask like this, I can see that your heart is focused on your issues, not on the other person. I will be able to help you do the right thing – I won’t correct the other person though. This is not telling tales.
He understood and proceeded to tell me some information about something that was going on in the house – it wasn’t telling tales, it was simply bringing me up to speed. He had no meanness in his heart. He was communicating a concern. We need to help our children not only do the right thing but understand their hearts.