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.