MOM! I’m Telling!!

| August 16, 2013 | 4 Comments


“He hit me!” “That’s mine!” “It’s my turn” “Gimmie!!” Nothing like frustration to bring out the best in us – kids and parents alike.  It might be the heat, or just the more relaxed routine of summer vacation, but it seems the thinking stool has been seeing some overtime lately.  Brother and sister are at it a lot.  That is okay though, lots of opportunity to learn new lessons. And as silly as it may sound, I relish in the fact that I can no longer be sent to the thinking stool by anyone.  I spent my fair share of time there, paid my dues in full.

I come from a family that dealt with issues as they happened.  If there was a disagreement it was often dramatic, but no one ever went to bed mad.  Words were said, and after apologies were made. We then got on with it. No silent treatment, no lingering long-term uncomfortableness. No holding grudges or saving up information for ammo.  Leverage did not exist in our house.

This final point was quite frustrating as a younger sister – there was no saving up a tattle.  When I would go to my mother and tug on her pant leg to offer up the kind of info that should have, in my young mind, resulted in the most severe punishment for my sister and great sympathy for me…it would always immediately result in a query. When did this happen? If it had not happened immediately before the question my Mother would stamp it out of date and carry on.  Boo!!! Like most things my Mother did that drove me crazy, I now understand why.thinking stool

Everyone knows the longer time passes after a crime the less reliable an eyewitness becomes – same is true for the tattler.  Further, I am not a big fan of tattling in general. I like to use an approach with as much hands-off problem solving as I can.  Work it out!! Always intervening to rescue our kids inadvertently slows them from developing much-needed problem solving skills.

That said, when mediation or intervention is required, I have found it useful to ask the youngens if they think that the people they admire would like the way they are behaving right now and subtly suggest perhaps I should give them a call.  This works particularly well with dropping their teachers’ names who they are still so eager to please. Not sure how long this will last – but we will take it while we can.  Sometimes privileges are taken away, and sometimes-extra chores are added, and of course, a visit to the thinking stool to reflect on questionable behavior is always in fashion.

Customer ServiceIn this new age of social media and the rapid sharing of information the notion of dealing with issues as they arise has been helpful as a businessperson. Failure to do so can result in a pretty crazy snowball effect and a much bigger PR problem.  I recently enjoyed a book with awesome insight to this effect called, “Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World”, by Peter Shenkman – great read.

Yet again Mother knew best.  So is all calm and well on your summertime front?  Or are you also issuing time-outs in what seems overtime amounts?

Ever enthused,

Shauna Rae

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Category: Family, Kids, Moms

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  1. This is a thought provoking post for me. I really hate when my boys aren’t getting along, but I know it is part of sibling life. It is also a way for them to learn how to argue. The problem with tattling is that I am never sure who to believe, and I hate that. I wish one of my boys was ALWAYS honest then I could believe HIM. but, alas, they are both great liars! lol!

    I like the “thinking stool” idea very much. It is better than the “naughty step” we used to use!!

  2. Shauna Rae says:

    Thanks Sarah – It would be so much easier if they were honest eh! I hadn’t actually considered the difference between a naughty step and a thinking stool – interestingly your comments made me ‘think’ about it. Value added!

  3. kathy downey says:

    I also like the “thinking stool” idea very my boy could never keep an honest face when he lied got caught everytime

  4. kathy downey says:

    I always hated tattling when my kids were young.

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