Tired of Tattling? Get a Grievance Box

My husband and I have an only child, so we don’t have to deal with the tattling that comes with having more than one. On the other hand, my older sister has three kids who range in age from 7 to almost 4. Day in and day out she has to deal with complaints of her 6-year-old son looking at her 7-year-old daughter for too long or some other similarly ridiculous gripe. If you have a small child then you know how absurd their complaints can get.

Once COVID struck and the kids were home all day every day, the kids’ tattling increased in epic proportions. My sister vented to me one day, and that’s when a light bulb went off in my head. I told her she needed a grievance box. Obviously, this idea doesn’t work for all age levels or all grievances. Her 6 and 7 year old can read and write and are able to discern things worthy of reporting directly to their parents versus petty tattling. If your little ones are at a similar stage, then a grievance box might be for you. After several weeks of tattling similar to the staring too long, she finally decided it was time to take my idea and make a grievance box.

After crafting the box from one of those many quarantine Amazon box orders, wrapping it in blue paper, and ordering a notepad with her kids’ pouty faces on it from a cheap printing site, her kids were ready to roll. She set out the box and told them that they could still always come to mom and dad if they needed, and any serious incidents should be reported to them immediately.

If one of them stuck their tongue out at the other and it wasn’t well-received; however, they should definitely write a complaint and stick it in the box. The two older kids were charged with writing the 4-year-old’s complaints as well. The grievance box quickly filled up, and so far it has gone pretty well. A bonus, aside from the fact that it has significantly minimized petty tattling, is the sometimes hilarious and entertaining notes available to read at the end of the day.

Charlotte Cravins
Charlotte Cravins is the wife of Calvin Bell and stepmom to his sweet little girl, Lyric. They’d love to add to their family, but are currently battling infertility. After living in Lafayette for the last three years, they recently moved back to their home parish of St. Landry Parish while Calvin pursues a degree in Information Technology. Charlotte is an attorney for the Louisiana House of Representatives by day (read: one hour commute to work) and practices privately via ‘of counsel’ work for her dad’s law practice by night. In her free time, Charlotte documents her infertility journey, latest kitchen adventures, and other random happenings on her Instagram page, @charshares. She considers herself a Real Housewives aficionado, but she’s well-versed in most trash reality tv programming. As a Creole woman, she is passionate about her culture which is why Acadiana will always be home.


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