The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Life with 9 Children: The Tattle Box

I couldn't take it anymore!

"She touched me!…He's not playing the game right!…They came in my room!

So I grabbed the first box in sight, cut a hole in the top and inscribed:  Tattle Box.  I then proceeded to sit the tribe down and explain that the tattling needs to stop unless someone is being hurt.  At the same time, they need to be able to express to us things that concern them about their siblings behavior; therefore, the tattle box complete with "Tattle Sheets."

Just right down name, complaint, day and put it in the box.  If you come and tattle to us about something that is not serious you lose a point (the point system is a whole nother post).  Barbara and I then check regularly and follow up.

We ran out of tattle sheets before the day was out and had to make more–the box was full (but our ears were not).

Ahh…I love the Tattle Box.
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Maurice Broaddus

posted December 29, 2008 at 1:10 am

this. is. genius.

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posted December 30, 2008 at 1:49 am

I AM GOING TO START MY OWN LITTLE TATTLE BOX!!! The only difference is that my Grace and Faith cannot write yet, so I hope that will just end it altogether…It is maddening and I am soooo glad my kiddos are not the only ones doing it!

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Jim Becker

posted January 18, 2009 at 10:05 am

The tattle box focuses on negatives…what about also having a “Praise” box where they can jot down something they appreciated about a siblings behavior – and then issue the challenge to see if the Praise box can be filled first.
I’d also recommend offering a “family treat” if the tattle box can have less than 12 comments at the end of a week.
In our clan we found it relatively easy to turn the negative attention to positive by doing something similiar and then reading their comments during Family Night.

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posted January 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Great ideas! You’re right, the tattle box eliminates the negative but it doesn’t create a focus on what is right and good.

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Andrew Hansen

posted April 16, 2009 at 9:14 pm

what ever happened to the “tattle box”

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Leslie Kropf

posted August 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Actually, tattling is a developmental stage in a young child’s life when he is learning self regulation. First a child will be regulated by others (the adults in his life), then he will regulate others (as in tattling)and finally he will begin to regulate himself. Its tough to listen to but an important building block to the next stage. Perhaps the best response is “I’m glad you know the rule!”
We had a tradition in our house when my children were young while eating dinner. We called it the “Person of the Moment”. We took turns going around the table telling one specific child what we liked best about them. When everyone finished, the specific child got to tell what he liked best about himself. We rotated until everyone had a turn. It was great fun.
Robert, good luck with your beautiful children.
Leslie Kropf

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