Friday, September 3, 2010

Children and Tattling

I read this blog article today and wanted to share. It is full of "meat" on training your children regarding talebearing and gossip. In our house there are plenty of little ones who seem to enjoy calling another out. When I was a child one of my siblings was a natural born tattler. Nothing creates more damage to a sibling relationship than talebearing. I still hold some irritation in my heart about being told on for every single thing I did wrong, while this other sibling seemed to show the attitude of perfectionism.

I struggle with ceasing strife among my children. I want them to be close and best friends and do not want them to be looking for another to slip so they can tell about it. That's evil and prideful.

Here is a snippet of the article with the link to finish.

Sin Grown Up

“Mommy! Grace got a cookie!” My three-year-old, Emma, announced with chubby arms crossed and indignant lips pursed. “It was really big. You want me to go get her for you?”

Fighting the urge to be amused, I scooped Emma up and headed for the bathroom mirror. There I showed my sweet little tattle-tale her own reflection and the chocolate liberally smeared across her guilty face.

Emma’s eyes widened as she saw her sin exposed. She immediately burst into tears and cried, “Oh Mommy, Grace didn’t mean to do it!” Suddenly, my young daughter was very concerned over how much mercy her sister would receive for her transgression! It’s funny how merciful we become when we realize our own sinfulness and how deserving we are of the same punishment we’ve been hoping for someone else!

Unknown to Emma, Grace had permission to eat the cookie. Emma did not have all the facts. If she would have confronted Grace first, she would have discovered the truth and avoided falling into her own trap. Also, the cookie was not “really big” it was the same size as the others. As is typical with a tattler, Emma was exaggerating, wanting the sin to appear bigger than it actually was.

Our children are given to us to train up in the way they should go. As parents, we must remember that our day to day family life is training ground (practice) for the future. God willing, our children will one day function in their own families, workplaces, and churches. Left unchecked, the sins we see in them today, will be the sins we see in them as adults—only the sins, along with our children, will have “grown up.”

The child who is allowed to enjoy tattling now, will one day be the adult who has developed a habit and taste for gossip—both by spreading it himself and by allowing the “tasty morsels” to enter his own ears—and soul. (Proverbs 11:9, 18:8)

The heart of gossip

We can help our children to examine their hidden motives for tattling. There is always a motive behind sin and it almost always boils down to some form of pride.

Envy: There may be an element of envy involved and the fact that the “sinner” has apparently been caught gives the tattler some sort of bitter satisfaction. One who spreads or listens to gossip is taking sinful delight in the transgressions of another. Many times it may even appear irrelevant whether or not the morsel of gossip is true or proven. Somehow, it makes us feel better about ourselves to learn that someone else slipped up; and the gossip can seem especially delicious if we are secretly envious of that person.

A child who rarely violates the rules may be a “great catch” to those children who seem to always get caught in sin themselves. Children must be taught early that it is wicked to delight in the sins of others and to spread potentially slanderous information; they must remember they will someday give account for every idle word. (Matthew 12:36)

Click to read the rest of the article at Raising Homemakers.

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