Author Topic: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children  (Read 7297 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2012, 04:48:45 PM »
I suppose I could be said to have "tattled" on a child - I went to the store to shop today, and while I was there, I saw a girl playing with a display piece which she had apparently played with to the point she had taken it apart. (The piece was a shelf-front display and had a small button on either end; the buttons clicked into holes on the shelf build-up. While I was watching, it was evident that one of the buttons had come free of its hole, so the display piece did not sit properly.) It is possible that some other child had taken the piece apart. When the male adult who was shopping with the child started to walk away, having not observed the child's behavior the entire time I was present, I advised him that the girl he was with had been playing with the display and had apparently taken it apart. He had the grace to put the display together, at least.

I wasn't about to let him just walk off completely oblivious to his child's behavior, and the effect of what may have been his child's play. While I did not see *her* take the piece apart, I had no intention of fixing the results of another person's play - and especially not that of a child whose parent had permitted her to treat the display as an interactive toy.

I think this is different than what Shannon's Mom is doing. I'm a big advocate of providing other parents with "undercover intelligence"--information about their child that they're not in a position to know about but I think they might want to know.

But I'm certain that I wouldn't create the reaction that Shannon's Mom does. Partly because of the tone I've chosen the few times I've had to do it--it's not, "she did something wrong!" but "I know of something, and I'm being respectful to your authority in providing you with information, and what you do about it is NOT my business."

I agree w/ bopper: Act as though your ODD did nothing wrong.
And I like "why are you telling me this?"

Or, "I don't see any reason to get involved."

or maybe, "I'd prefer only hear about the big-picture stuff. I'm sure the kids will figure out how the dynamics of their friendship works."

You've ALREADY DONE the other thing I'd suggest, which is some independent research seeking out neutral opinions about your DD's relationship with Shannon, and whether she's sort of mean to you. (that's the "big picture stuff" I'd want to know about)

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2012, 01:30:02 AM »
"ODD said that Shannon had fluffy hair."
Is this a real example?  I didn't know that fluffy hair was an insult. 

As for whining about Shannon not being picked first -- especially if Helicopter Mom is complaining about the same thing to other parents -- wow!  Major snowflake alert.  I suggest telling her that ODD likes to choose different people first so that everyone gets a chance and no one's feeling are hurt. 

In general, I suggest being politely dismissive of this silly but annoying behavior. 
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

PastryGoddess

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2012, 01:57:59 AM »
I had a neighbor who used to tattle on my boys. Usually stuff like "Oh I see them fighting all the time!" Yeah, they fight. They're brothers. They're 18 months apart and up till recently they shared a room. They're going to fight.  When I'd mention this to the boys, they'd shrug and say "Yeah, we were play wrestling...so?"



I have 4 younger brother who were born in sets of 2 very close together. The youngest two did everything they could to kill one another when they were younger. I remember a new neighbor came tearing up to our house to tell us that they were wrestling in the backyard and they were going to kill one another.  My mothers response was "and......."  Neighbor lady huffed and walked away in a snit.

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2012, 07:45:05 AM »
I'm trying to think how I'd respond. I think I'd ask her why she's telling me. Like:

"ODD didn't play with Shannon on the playground today"
"Is it your expectation that they play with each other on the playground every day?"

"ODD said that Shannon had fluffy hair" 
"Is that something you're concerned about?"

"ODD didn't pick Shannon first for her team."
"Do you think ODD should always be expected to pick Shannon first for her team?"

I guess I'm curious about why she feels that way and what her expectations are. There's an underlying expectation and I'd want to hear her verbalize that so we could work on that. So I think I'd turn this into a dialogue.

cabbagegirl28

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2012, 09:11:27 AM »
"ODD said that Shannon had fluffy hair."
Is this a real example?  I didn't know that fluffy hair was an insult. 

As for whining about Shannon not being picked first -- especially if Helicopter Mom is complaining about the same thing to other parents -- wow!  Major snowflake alert.  I suggest telling her that ODD likes to choose different people first so that everyone gets a chance and no one's feeling are hurt. 

In general, I suggest being politely dismissive of this silly but annoying behavior.

I think that fluffy could equal frizzy, which means that her hair looks huge. I got made fun of like that a lot, because I have curly hair and grew up in a really humid area. They'd ask me if I could hear through that "mess". However, it seems like the OP's daughter isn't intentionally being mean when saying it, just making an observation.


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yokozbornak

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2012, 09:18:44 AM »
"ODD said that Shannon had fluffy hair."
Is this a real example?  I didn't know that fluffy hair was an insult. 

As for whining about Shannon not being picked first -- especially if Helicopter Mom is complaining about the same thing to other parents -- wow!  Major snowflake alert.  I suggest telling her that ODD likes to choose different people first so that everyone gets a chance and no one's feeling are hurt. 

In general, I suggest being politely dismissive of this silly but annoying behavior.

Yes, it's a real example.  When DD was younger, they had to draw pictures in class, and DD drew a picture of Shannon and some other friends.  She apparently said she drew a picture of Shannon with fluffy hair because her hair is so curly.  It was just an adjective, not an insult.

Cami

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2012, 09:56:49 AM »
Based upon my own experience with a mother--daughter that sounds similar to yours, OP, I would caution you to be extraordinarily careful about what you say to this mother. 

I too had a "tattling" mom in my life when dd was in 1st-2nd grade.  It took a while for me to see the pattern, but basically whenever I'd make ANY sort of comment about another child or parent  -- and by ANY comment, I mean a compliment -- she'd find a way to go "tattle" to that parent about my comment and turn a compliment into something highly derogatory.  As an example, I once said, "Susie's braids are so gorgeous. It must take her mother a long time to do them in the morning. Or probably, a lot of skill! I wish I could do hair so well! I think I'm going to ask her for a lesson." Next thing I know, dd is getting the cold shoulder from Susie because it turns out that this woman told Susie's mother that I had said, "Susie's mother must be really vain to spend so much time on those braids."  When those mild efforts didn't seem to work well, she escalated into telling other parents much more harmful lies.

It took a while for me to realize she was trying to isolate my dd so she would have no other choice but to be friends only with her daughter and that she was trying to isolate me from other mothers.

So if I'd be cautious with this person and avoid saying ANYTHING to her.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 11:10:00 AM by Cami »

Otterpop

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2012, 10:54:59 AM »
Yes, I'd be worried more about a situation like Cami's.  Be polite but distant.  Some women climb the social hierarchy on the backs of other women or their child's friends.  Some like to be the "cool" mom with disparaging information about other people's children.  Chances are, if she's coming to you with these trivial complaints, she's also talking with the other mom's about them.

bloo

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2012, 04:59:22 PM »
Based upon my own experience with a mother--daughter that sounds similar to yours, OP, I would caution you to be extraordinarily careful about what you say to this mother. 

I too had a "tattling" mom in my life when dd was in 1st-2nd grade.  It took a while for me to see the pattern, but basically whenever I'd make ANY sort of comment about another child or parent  -- and by ANY comment, I mean a compliment -- she'd find a way to go "tattle" to that parent about my comment and turn a compliment into something highly derogatory.  As an example, I once said, "Susie's braids are so gorgeous. It must take her mother a long time to do them in the morning. Or probably, a lot of skill! I wish I could do hair so well! I think I'm going to ask her for a lesson." Next thing I know, dd is getting the cold shoulder from Susie because it turns out that this woman told Susie's mother that I had said, "Susie's mother must be really vain to spend so much time on those braids."  When those mild efforts didn't seem to work well, she escalated into telling other parents much more harmful lies.

It took a while for me to realize she was trying to isolate my dd so she would have no other choice but to be friends only with her daughter and that she was trying to isolate me from other mothers.

So if I'd be cautious with this person and avoid saying ANYTHING to her.

Cami, were you able to straighten things out to your satisfaction with 'Susie' and 'Susie's mom'? How did things work out with your 'Tattling Mom'?

Cami

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2012, 05:24:11 PM »
Based upon my own experience with a mother--daughter that sounds similar to yours, OP, I would caution you to be extraordinarily careful about what you say to this mother. 

I too had a "tattling" mom in my life when dd was in 1st-2nd grade.  It took a while for me to see the pattern, but basically whenever I'd make ANY sort of comment about another child or parent  -- and by ANY comment, I mean a compliment -- she'd find a way to go "tattle" to that parent about my comment and turn a compliment into something highly derogatory.  As an example, I once said, "Susie's braids are so gorgeous. It must take her mother a long time to do them in the morning. Or probably, a lot of skill! I wish I could do hair so well! I think I'm going to ask her for a lesson." Next thing I know, dd is getting the cold shoulder from Susie because it turns out that this woman told Susie's mother that I had said, "Susie's mother must be really vain to spend so much time on those braids."  When those mild efforts didn't seem to work well, she escalated into telling other parents much more harmful lies.

It took a while for me to realize she was trying to isolate my dd so she would have no other choice but to be friends only with her daughter and that she was trying to isolate me from other mothers.

So if I'd be cautious with this person and avoid saying ANYTHING to her.

Cami, were you able to straighten things out to your satisfaction with 'Susie' and 'Susie's mom'? How did things work out with your 'Tattling Mom'?
  I was able to work things out with Susie's mom and all the other mothers but one. I'm not afraid of conflict, so I had no problem going to speak with these mothers and they all chalked it up to a "misunderstanding".  Unfortunately, that one mother was the person I was closest to and she totally believed the lie the Tattling Mom told. It was a particularly nasty lie that hit right at this mother's insecurities as a parent so she got defensive and angry instantly and then wouldn't listen. So it got painful and messy and I ended up losing a friend. (It was profoundly sad the day that her daughter told her, 'But Mom! Cami's would never say that! I think Mrs. X is making up stories! Why aren't you listening to your friend?) I think Mrs. X is one of those girls who can't have three girls be friends so she's trying to cut Cami out!'  At the time, we were looking to move from renting a house to buying one and that incident led us to deciding to buy a house in another (and much larger) town.

I have occasionally wondered what ended up happening with that mother--daughter.  The girl was perfectly nice (and actually rather shy). Did her mother pull the same stunt with other friends? Did the little girl turn into her mother and become a lying manipulative woman? Did the mother go farther later on -- turn into one of those moms who tries to kill another cheerleader to get her daughter the head cheerleader position? (OKay, I'm joking with the last question. I think.)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 05:27:51 PM by Cami »

bloo

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2012, 05:53:48 PM »
Based upon my own experience with a mother--daughter that sounds similar to yours, OP, I would caution you to be extraordinarily careful about what you say to this mother. 

I too had a "tattling" mom in my life when dd was in 1st-2nd grade.  It took a while for me to see the pattern, but basically whenever I'd make ANY sort of comment about another child or parent  -- and by ANY comment, I mean a compliment -- she'd find a way to go "tattle" to that parent about my comment and turn a compliment into something highly derogatory.  As an example, I once said, "Susie's braids are so gorgeous. It must take her mother a long time to do them in the morning. Or probably, a lot of skill! I wish I could do hair so well! I think I'm going to ask her for a lesson." Next thing I know, dd is getting the cold shoulder from Susie because it turns out that this woman told Susie's mother that I had said, "Susie's mother must be really vain to spend so much time on those braids."  When those mild efforts didn't seem to work well, she escalated into telling other parents much more harmful lies.

It took a while for me to realize she was trying to isolate my dd so she would have no other choice but to be friends only with her daughter and that she was trying to isolate me from other mothers.

So if I'd be cautious with this person and avoid saying ANYTHING to her.

Cami, were you able to straighten things out to your satisfaction with 'Susie' and 'Susie's mom'? How did things work out with your 'Tattling Mom'?
  I was able to work things out with Susie's mom and all the other mothers but one. I'm not afraid of conflict, so I had no problem going to speak with these mothers and they all chalked it up to a "misunderstanding".  Unfortunately, that one mother was the person I was closest to and she totally believed the lie the Tattling Mom told. It was a particularly nasty lie that hit right at this mother's insecurities as a parent so she got defensive and angry instantly and then wouldn't listen. So it got painful and messy and I ended up losing a friend. (It was profoundly sad the day that her daughter told her, 'But Mom! Cami's would never say that! I think Mrs. X is making up stories! Why aren't you listening to your friend?) I think Mrs. X is one of those girls who can't have three girls be friends so she's trying to cut Cami out!'  At the time, we were looking to move from renting a house to buying one and that incident led us to deciding to buy a house in another (and much larger) town.

I have occasionally wondered what ended up happening with that mother--daughter.  The girl was perfectly nice (and actually rather shy). Did her mother pull the same stunt with other friends? Did the little girl turn into her mother and become a lying manipulative woman? Did the mother go farther later on -- turn into one of those moms who tries to kill another cheerleader to get her daughter the head cheerleader position? (OKay, I'm joking with the last question. I think.)

I was less-than-surprised to see a couple names I googled on mugshots.com. Give it a try!

Very sorry about losing your friend, though. :-[

JoyinVirginia

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2012, 09:38:37 AM »
My suggested response is to say they are kids, they can work things out. And leave it at that. And limit conversation with other mother

Cami

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2012, 09:48:11 AM »
Based upon my own experience with a mother--daughter that sounds similar to yours, OP, I would caution you to be extraordinarily careful about what you say to this mother. 

I too had a "tattling" mom in my life when dd was in 1st-2nd grade.  It took a while for me to see the pattern, but basically whenever I'd make ANY sort of comment about another child or parent  -- and by ANY comment, I mean a compliment -- she'd find a way to go "tattle" to that parent about my comment and turn a compliment into something highly derogatory.  As an example, I once said, "Susie's braids are so gorgeous. It must take her mother a long time to do them in the morning. Or probably, a lot of skill! I wish I could do hair so well! I think I'm going to ask her for a lesson." Next thing I know, dd is getting the cold shoulder from Susie because it turns out that this woman told Susie's mother that I had said, "Susie's mother must be really vain to spend so much time on those braids."  When those mild efforts didn't seem to work well, she escalated into telling other parents much more harmful lies.

It took a while for me to realize she was trying to isolate my dd so she would have no other choice but to be friends only with her daughter and that she was trying to isolate me from other mothers.

So if I'd be cautious with this person and avoid saying ANYTHING to her.

Cami, were you able to straighten things out to your satisfaction with 'Susie' and 'Susie's mom'? How did things work out with your 'Tattling Mom'?
  I was able to work things out with Susie's mom and all the other mothers but one. I'm not afraid of conflict, so I had no problem going to speak with these mothers and they all chalked it up to a "misunderstanding".  Unfortunately, that one mother was the person I was closest to and she totally believed the lie the Tattling Mom told. It was a particularly nasty lie that hit right at this mother's insecurities as a parent so she got defensive and angry instantly and then wouldn't listen. So it got painful and messy and I ended up losing a friend. (It was profoundly sad the day that her daughter told her, 'But Mom! Cami's would never say that! I think Mrs. X is making up stories! Why aren't you listening to your friend?) I think Mrs. X is one of those girls who can't have three girls be friends so she's trying to cut Cami out!'  At the time, we were looking to move from renting a house to buying one and that incident led us to deciding to buy a house in another (and much larger) town.

I have occasionally wondered what ended up happening with that mother--daughter.  The girl was perfectly nice (and actually rather shy). Did her mother pull the same stunt with other friends? Did the little girl turn into her mother and become a lying manipulative woman? Did the mother go farther later on -- turn into one of those moms who tries to kill another cheerleader to get her daughter the head cheerleader position? (OKay, I'm joking with the last question. I think.)

I was less-than-surprised to see a couple names I googled on mugshots.com. Give it a try!

Very sorry about losing your friend, though. :-[
  There is a site for mugshots? WOW! I'm off to check on a few people from my past!

TootsNYC

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2012, 12:55:23 PM »
My suggested response is to say they are kids, they can work things out. And leave it at that. And limit conversation with other mother

The thing is, right now, with the anti-bullying emphasis as a culture, this phrase is a hot button. It's what grownups say that lets bullies get away with it.

So you don't really want to go there, especially because she's so fixated. But you do want to indicate that you don't think this rises to the level of bullying. (which you know it doesn't, since you've wisely investigated it)

So maybe something like, "I'm not worried about the girls, they're basically respectful of one another. I'm sure they'll work out these minor issues on their own."

yokozbornak

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Re: When Other Parents "Tattle" on Your Children
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2012, 03:51:01 PM »
Thanks for all the great feedback and responses.  I will certainly be using some of them.  I also appreciate some insights that I wouldnn't have even thought of.  It will be really helpful as I navigate these waters.

As I mentioned in my OP, I know she does this to another child also, and her mother is just as frustrated as I am.   I think Shannon's mom is very overprotective of her daughter because of the loss of her other child, and I do think she wants her daughter to be the social center for the other children and gets upset when they aren't all doing her bidding.  My daughter tends to be somewhat reserved and sensitive.  Her teacher was actually surpised last year when I asked about playground issues and was quick to reassure me that she had seen nothing that would indicate the DD is treating anyone badly or being treated badly so I really think most of this is in Shannon's mom's head.