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Snitch, grass, Harry Potter, children, child, development, dad blogger, daddy blogger
Grass, snitch, telling tales, call it what you will. It’s becoming common place in this household to tell mum and dad about your sister’s misdemeanors.

There’s been a worrying development in this household. For some reason our two children have turned supergrass. If one of them sets a foot wrong, the other will come running to mummy or daddy and inform them about what’s just happened.

Meal times are generally the worst. Our dining area is set apart from our horrible, long, galley-style kitchen (building work will soon begin to create an open plan kitchen/diner). Every time a fork gets dropped or a cup needs refilling you have to leave the room for 30 seconds.

In that brief period one of them will call out to rat on their sibling. The words won’t deviate much. It’ll be along the lines of;

“Mum / dad blah has just done bah blah. Isn’t that very naughty?”

I’m not sure why this has suddenly happened. I’m thinking it must be an age thing. It may be that Toddler Adams has reached a point in her development that she understands the difference between right and wrong and so rats on her sister. Her older sibling, having had a minor misdemeanor pointed out to an adult, gets revenge by doing the same in return.

I’m think Father Christmas possibly plays a role too. If one child can point out the failings of the other child, she’s more likely to guarantee a delivery from the bearded man in red and his reindeer.

I’ve written previously about my feelings towards the Father Christmas and Tooth Fairy traditions. In the face of fierce resistance from my wife, I go along with it through gritted teeth. In my eyes, however, this whole sisters turning supergrass on each other thing is further proof we should be honest with our kids and not fill their heads with rubbish about this mythical present delivery service.

Of course there’s a whole moral and ethical dilemma here. I don’t particularly want my children telling tales on each other because, well, let’s face it, nobody like a grass. When they get older, they will have to learn to live by this code.

I’m still racked with guilt over the time I got a friend in trouble at secondary school. I would never normally have told tales on anyone but, from a distance of about 60cms, he’d flicked a fountain pen at me.

I don’t think either of us was quite prepared for what happened. A tell-tale trail of black ink led across the desk in front of me and all the way up my white, cotton/poly mix school shirt. The splodges of ink had started small but increased in size until they reached my neck where they were about as large as a fist. In other words they couldn’t be missed.

About two seconds after this happened, a teacher appeared on the scene and asked what was going on. Caught completely by surprise I blurted out the truth and the culprit was placed on report for a week, his behavior having to be monitored during every single lesson.

Even so, if one of my kids is doing something dangerous or foolhardy, I want to know about it. If that involves one of my kids confiding in me that their sibling has been up to no good, so bit it. This will become even more important when they are teenagers and the opportunities for getting in trouble will substantially multiply.

I guess this is a parental paradox. As an adult I’m used to keeping quiet about the morally questionable behavior of acquaintances and friends. The same standards can’t be applied to my kids.

How do you cope with the whole telling takes thing? Does it cause you pain when one of your kids grasses up another one? Maybe you have older children. Do they adhere to the rule that nobody likes a grass?


6 thoughts on “Nobody likes a grass”

  1. Well that can be a hard one as I want my children to develop a close relationship. There are many times it’s not something I need to hear about and in reality it’s probably about once or twice a year I do need to hear it. For the most part I tell them that it’s better to have each others back and not say a thing unless it’s a dangerous situation and you are scared for your brother or sister. What they don’t really get is I don’t really care if Logen made a face at Ryley! LOL

    1. Oh yeah, the whole face pulling thing I just don’t need to hear it. I do though, Rod, like your approach. I shall be telling my kids they need to cover each other’s backs. All about solidarity.

  2. This is a tough one and I still don’t have the answer. I don’t want to constantly hear that a brother has nicked a biscuit (the boys are growing fast and I think they actually need those nicked biscuits, so I’m not bothered), but if one of them has hit the other or said something particularly upsetting (especially if it’s the 14 yo to the 9yo because that’s never going to be an equal match), I’d rather they told me and let me deal with it than let it escalate into a fight.

    1. You’re absolutely correct. I’m not too fussed about being told the toddler has pulled a funny face at her sister. I do, however, want to know if either of them has done something completely inappropriate or dangerous. Getting that balance right is the tricky bit.

  3. We have this same issue, mostly between the middle children who are 4 and 7, so maybe it is an age thing. Sometimes they try to tell on the older one who is 12, and he just rolls his eyes at them. But the 2 middles…it’s almost like a competition with them! It’s been really annoying and I wish it would stop. I have felt at a loss over it myself. I’m afraid to punish it because I don’t want to discourage them from communicating with me, especially if the baby is getting into something and I need to be warned…but something has to give! Just this morning the 4 year old came running in exasperated to tell me the 12 year old was stirring his chocolate milk with a butter knife. :/ It’s just constant stupid business like that. Sorry no advice, just an “I understand your frustration.” And let me know if you find a cure! 😉 #coolmumclub

  4. Thankfully I only have one so far who doesn’t getting the whole snitching on anyone thing yet BUT I have totally cringeworthy memories of grassing on my sister as a little girl and I literally shudder at the thought. Totally not cool! Thanks so much for linking up to #coolmumclub for the first time honorary mum!

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