Tattle Tales

Have you ever tried to have a meaningful conversation with a toddler?

The conversation never develops because toddlers don’t know anything!

Kaleb, I ask: “What did you do today at school?”

“I ate lunch,” he responds.

“Wonderful, what did you have for lunch?” I inquire.

“Food,” he answers.

Trying another line of conversation, I then ask: “So, who’s your best friend at school?”


Exasperated I turn to Kenzie: “How did you get that scratch on your head?”

“I was drinking water!”

See what I mean? Toddlers don’t know anything! They don’t know nothin’!

Or do they?

Toddlers do know something. They know how to avoid personal responsibility.

In fact, they will go to almost any length to protect themselves from possible punitive action for their misbehavior.

So, they know how to deny responsibility. They know how to twist the truth.

They know everything about who caused the misdeed and how it occurred! And they know they had absolutely no participation in it!

While it is difficult, if not impossible, to extract any meaningful information from a toddler, they are quite articulate and conversant when it comes to putting the blame on someone else!

In fact, they are shameless in betraying their little toddler friends or their sibling or even changing the facts in order to absolve themselves of any blame for misbehavior.

I’m often amazed at how easily the toddlers will squeal on the other!

I mean, is there no loyalty among toddlers?

When I found pencil marks on the wall, I asked the toddlers who did it.

Kaleb said, “Kenzie did it,” and Kenzie said, “Kaleb did it.”

When I found a large spot on the outside of the house that had been painted with the water colors, I asked who did it. Kenzie said “Kaleb did it,” and Kaleb said, “Kenzie did it.”

Who broke my glasses?

“He did it.” “She did it.”

Who squeezed all the toothpaste out of the tube?

“She did.” “He did.”

Who hit whom, first?

“Him.” “Her.”

Now, there’s some justice that needs to be meted out around here!

Somebody’s got to pay for their household crimes!

So how do I determine culpability? Which toddler should pay? Should I punish them both?

Do you have any suggestions for handling toddler tattletales, for determining who’s at fault? If so, please share your advice with us so justice can be served at our house!

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