Homeschool Tattletales

"Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins" (Proverbs 10:12).

My son could hardly wait to talk to me one day during our school time. I could tell he had something important to say and was anxiously waiting to share the news. As soon as the words came out of his mouth, I knew where the conversation was headed. Midway through his first sentence, I interrupted him, and a surprised look crossed his face. I asked, "Are you telling on your sister for a particular reason? No one likes a tattletale."

Homeschool children are no different from other children about wanting to "spill the beans" about someone else. By nature, they have a strong sense of right and wrong, but they often misuse this sense by tattling to make their siblings look bad. Parents must teach their children to confess their own sins as easily and learn to help others in their mistakes instead of condemning them. "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).

Romans 13:10 says, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour." Do you find keeping a juicy piece of news to yourself difficult? Do you think your responsibility is to expose the failings of others in order to make things better for yourself? Here are two questions you can ask yourself to gauge your actions to see if you are telling or tattling: Do I need to share this information to keep someone from being hurt physically? Am I sharing this news to get someone into trouble or out of trouble?

Remember, love covers a multitude of sins. Ask God for wisdom to know how to help a brother rather than condemn him.

Father, show me how to be full of grace today toward someone who has made a mistake. Convict me of any self-righteousness and use me to lead this person back to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Comments(8 comments)

ELISHA H 10/04/2010 00:51:15

This is so good. I needed to hear this, even as an adult I see I have struggled with this and disguised it as just wanting for the person I am telling "to know how to pray for the person", that I am actually tatteling on, being a"talebarer" as God calls it. Thank you for writing what God leads you to, your obedience has helped and convicted me. This has also given me a different approach to handling this issue with my children.

CHRIS R 10/04/2011 13:12:45

Amen! Thank you and keep up the great writing, I look forward to reading these every week day.

Bobbi Jo


PEDENIA E 10/05/2011 08:08:50

Very good article. Over the years when someone has come to me with something and have been asked to keep to myself, I do but I ask them if we can pray about the situation and then I move on to never bring up again. Yes this has taken alot of practice on my part to keep the information locked up. I thank God for that.

MARY H 10/05/2011 19:47:35

Wish I would have read this devotion yesterday. I\'ve had some serious craziness going on this week. No biggy...but it\'s prevented me from my usual routines. I always say our mouths are the last things to mature. The Bible supports that too. If you want any level of maturity in your spiritual life, learn to control your tongue. If you can control that beast, you\'ll have the power to win in other areas. Still wrestling with mine...don\'t know about you but I\'m committed to continue wrestling with it.

ASTRA P 10/04/2012 04:20:02

Astra F

I love this article. I homeschool and I see this all the time with my kids. I can remember when I was a young christian and had my struggles in this area. Today, I thank the Lord Jesus for being our Living Hope that can transform our lives. He is the Hope that make us not ashame but he takes our shortcomings and give us his image and likness, if we will let him.

NORMA Q 10/04/2012 05:47:39

I think this is a good reflection article ... My dilemma is when the mom said \"no one likes tattletales\". We teach children to focus too much on whether other people like us or not or to focus on what others think of us which sometimes leads to compromise.

Other than that the article was awesome. I liked the gagging questions to help determine if we should speak. That is an excellent tool to use for oneself and our children.

SHERRI G 10/04/2012 06:30:04

I love reading your well-written bits of advice every morning. This topic is hard for me, however. It sounds great and may be great for the typical family, and its theory is well-based. But I have 5 children, 4 of them are teenagers, 2 of them are homeschooled, 3 of them have ADHD, 2 have learning disabilities, 3 of them were adopted as older children, and one of them has ODD. When my ODD child \"makes a mistake on purpose,\" especially if his action is directed towards a sibling, I usually want to know about it, so I can help guide him to think through his actions. I can\'t afford NOT to have tattletales in my house, for his sake, and to help him learn correct behavior. Keep in mind that not just \"normal\" families read your posts. What is \"normal\" anyway? Ha ha... After reading your post, I feel a bit condemned, like I\'m not teaching my kids love because we need to help guide my \"special\" child. I\'m a writer as well, and know it\'s hard to see every situation. You are obviously very experienced, and I love hearing your real examples. It\'s hard to generalize, though, that tattletales should be discouraged in every situation. Please don\'t take this post as a negative one...just telling you how I feel. You do such an excellent job, and I\'m thankful for your posts.

LETITIA H 10/04/2012 11:10:33

I find the tradition of silencing \"tattletales\" a problem. It teaches people not to report crimes or to protect criminals from the law because they\'re family or friends--which is illegal. Most people are not going to report themselves or turn themselves into authorities. Someone has to tip off the law even if anonymously. Yes, we can teach children to encourage one another to confess their sins but tell if they don\'t. This can prevent all a family\'s children getting in trouble for something because no one is fessing up. TY

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