Do you ‘tell on’ your kids?

I can’t be the only parent who eyerolls every time a child comes in and goes: ‘Jussie said I’m a puke face!’ ‘Molly just drank coke even though you said she can’t!‘. Something that I learnt is referred to as ‘telling on‘. We called it ‘piemp’ where I come from, but it’s 2019, and we move with the times. Parents, do your kids love to TELL ON each other?? Mine absolutely live for it! If I had a dollar for every time one of my kids ran to me yelling:

  • I’m telling on!!
  • Why do you have to tell on me????
  • I won’t tell on you….*then proceeds to tell on with a smirk*

….. I’d be RICH and not too worried about finances! Where are the secrets that bond siblings? –  I ask them. I don’t have to worry, there will be NO secrets in my house. Perhaps an upside to this snitch mentality we have going on in home?

Being a confidante as a parent

I have a very ‘open door’ policy as part of my parenting style. My kids can literally tell me anything (even if I cringe inside, I won’t show it). As my daughter is a bit older, I do tell her there are somethings she really doesn’t have to tell me, but there are certain things I hope she would always come to me about. Bullying of any kind, if she’s gotten into trouble at school, friends being mean to her (though she handles this well by herself), etc. I will listen, give advice….and also, if she talks to me in private, the rule is, I will not tell her father. This also goes further, if she knows of friends being mean to other friends, swearing, smoking, anything she knows I don’t want her associated with. So in that, I know we have a great relationship.

The same goes for Joshua  of course, but I find girl friendships are a bit more trying and troublesome than boy friendships, so he rarely has anything private at 7 that he needs to talk about. #TrueStory

Am I a snitch?

So I am the mom my child talks to….great! Recently one of my kids came to me about homework they needed to finish for Thursday…..past…..on Sunday. This mom was puzzled and upset, because obviously it means the deadline for the homework has passed. I gave said kid the work they needed to do, and kid went to their room to finish up. I then immediately went to my husband, and told him about this delinquency. Within 5 seconds he was in the room, raining down a storm of words on said kid. I was standing in the passage, outside the room….and I kind of cringed. My first thought immediately is that kid must feel like ‘jeez mom, you couldn’t wait 5 minutes???‘. I felt like Judas….. I felt like a snitch. Not doing your homework is obviously not good, but this is not a regular occurrence so surely it could have been handled between us?

Who am I betraying?

I don’t know how my husband would have felt if I withheld the information from him….and I know my kid probably felt aggrieved. Though actually not, because I got a hug and apology maybe 3 minutes later…so there actually were no hard feelings. It did get me thinking in future though, if any of my kids get into trouble….if I can handle it, should I? Or do I have a duty to involve my spouse?

Obviously there are different levels of what is ‘secret-worthy’, but, I don’t know, I wasn’t happy with myself and the homework situation. Or maybe I wasn’t happy that hubby didn’t even give it 5 seconds before he ran in. Again maybe the whole, we’re not on the same page about disciplining issue?? I’d love for you moms to weigh in, and even if you don’t have kids…..but with the experience of being a child and being in this situation at some stage, what are your thoughts?



I’m Simone, a mom of 3, a wife...obsessed with my family, makeup and books!


  • Dionne

    I tell hubby everything. Even if they specifically asked me not too lol but i will let him know not to say anything. I think it’s important he knows.. if its something like the late homework situation then i would deal with it myself and then let him know that its dealt with so no need to say anything. But sometimes what we will do is calmly have a chat with our kid to re emphasize how important (insert transgression here) is and why, etc. We a team and i feel its important that we are always on the same page and that the kids understand that.

    Ive always struggled with the telling on lol on the one hand its so annoying and i want to teach independence and dealing with your own battles (i would also be a millionaire for the amount of times someone was “rude to me”) but i also want to take it seriously and encourage them to talk to me about anything anytime.

    What we are trying now is to encourage what to do when someone does x to you. Step by step. So telling on is the last step if the first few dont work. It doesn’t always work but its a start i guess…

    • Megan Keith

      My husband and I are 2 very different personality types, with 2 very different childhoods and experiences of discipline growing up. It’s been so tough finding the parenting style that works for us. We’ve found something that seems to be working for us for the most part, but every so often some discrepancies creep up and leave us scratching our heads and doing our best to not leave our poor four year old confused and upset, while we try to figure out this whole parenting thing. Oh the adventure that parenting is hey?!

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