Finding the Positives in Tattling

In every group of young children, there is a reporter.The reporter runs to adults to tell what has happened.The report may or may not be accurate but it rarely matters. Telling the story isn’t really the point.Anyone who reads this blog regularly or has seen my talks knows one of my mantras – Every behavior is communication.The behavior of the reporter is a form of encrypted communication.The child is looking for something that he/she cannot state.Unfortunately, they usually don’t get that help.Instead, adults who probably were tattled on as children themselves find it offensive and annoying so they tend to bark, “Stop tattling!” and then they send the children right back into the situation.
After having worked with children for many years, I’ve come to the conclusion that often the attention the tattler seeks has to do with a social and/or emotional inability.Something has happened and the child simply doesn’t know what to do with the situation; nor is the child able to say, “This sit…

When to Talk About Starting School: Don’t Create Anticipatory Anxiety

If I were to write an FAQ list for parents of young children, the first question would be “When should you talk about school starting with your young child?” When I was a teacher and then was an early childhood center director, it was the most important and least asked question.I learned from years of experience that I should simply advise parents and not wait for them to ask.With all of the best intentions, parents tended to talk about school too soon which would escalate their children’s natural anxiety about that looming first day.
Change is scary.Whether your very young child is just starting preschool or is moving from one class to another, it should be expected that there could be hesitation and anxiety.Your child is facing the unknown and none of us like that.Adults tend to think that talking about the upcoming school year sooner and more often will help children to feel comfortable.We are more likely creating anticipatory anxiety.
As much as I travel for both pleasure and speaki…