Solve One Issue and Two Take Its Place


New Member
Hi everyone, back again for an entirely unrelated issue. My 5yo has a couple of very worrying behaviors surfacing, and I don't know if other kids have gone through this, or if he needs to see someone asap.

1.) He sees himself as a gatekeeper for his classmates' behavior.
I don't know where this came from or when it started exactly. But lately he's been tattling on his friends at school over every perceived behavior infraction. "(Classmate) said a bad word in front of me today, so I told the teacher" "I told on (other classmate) today because they weren't doing their class work." But turns around and is terribly upset when the same thing happens to him. He's already lost 2 friends over it, but that doesn't matter to him. At home he tries to tattle on my partner to me over similar things - "Mommy, J said a bad word outside when she hit her head" "Mommy, J was hiding a chocolate bar from you." Did any of your children do something similar? Do they grow out of it?

2.) We were talking about the possibility of getting a family cat. Over the past couple of days he's been repeatedly saying "What if we put a leash on the cat's collar and took it outside? And it didn't walk, so we just dragged it across the ground by its neck? Wouldn't that be funny?" Needless to say, getting a cat has been put on hold indefinitely. However, we have a rabbit now and he's never shown any amount of malice or aggression towards her. I'm not sure if he's saying it to get a reaction, or if he's genuinely amused by the idea of torturing this cat.


New Member

Sometimes kids go through that tattling phase, it's hard to explain to them the difference between telling a teacher when someone's being hurt, bullied, mentally abused, etc... and just being a kid. If they're just doing kid stuff keep it quiet lol.

As for the cat I wonder if he saw a youtube video or something? Cats are not OK on leashes and won't cooperate at all. He may not see the malice in it and just thinks it's funny.

People Try Walking Their Cats

This is one video from youtube.


Roll With It
The tattling thing is a normal stage. My parents handled it by dividing it into safety issues and non-safety issues. If you see a friend doing something is against the rules and could end up with him being seriously hurt, then it is okay to tell. Otherwise it is NOT okay to tell. My parents gave the tattler the same punishment as the person who got tattled upon. Trust me, that fixed that problem fast! It maybe took 2-3 times to grasp that they were serious, and what was a safety issue, but after that? We did NOT tattle. It just was not worth it. My mother even dumped koolaid on the table to show how much of a puddle of blood she needed to see before it justified tattling. A teaspoon looks like more than you think, but wasn't really worth her time. A tablespoon needed her attention. So did any head wound that bled enough to get blood on our shirts without any help from us. Giving kids something graphic to remember is a far easier way to make them remember something.

As for the cat, small children should NEVER be unsupervised with an animal. Not even the family pet. If they are actively playing with it, or petting it, someone should be watching it. Contrary to popular belief, cats can be taught to walk on leashes. It takes time, patience, and a cat with the right temperament. Starting when they are kittens is also a good thing. Some cats never will learn to walk on a leash.

If you ARE going to try to walk your cat, please use a harness. It is safer for the cat. They can get out of collars far too easily. I have known several people who walked their cats. It is a matter of training and time. Small children should not be holding their leashes.

As to your child finding the cat being dragged funny, what is he seeing on the television and computer? So many computer and television images are very violent, even in children's cartoons. Small children don't know that Wiley Coyote is different than other coyotes. I was on a school bus chaperoning a Pre-K field trip and we were out very early in the morning. We saw a coyote cross the road. Some of the boys thought it would be a great "Bugs Bunny" moment for the bus to hit the coyote. They had zero understanding that it would kill the coyote. When asked what would happen to the coyote after the bus hit it, the boys said that it would be flattened but would pop back into shape and go back to running around. Later that year the boys started watching the 3 Stooges with their dads. You could tell. The teachers of the grade actually had to send a note home asking parents to not let their children watch the 3 Stooges as they were acting that behavior out at school. Children who acted like that at school would have to be suspended from there on out. Several of us were rather upset because our children were being hit on the head with anything big and heavy that the kids could pick up, and then the kids would do that "whoop whoop whoop whoop" laugh from the Stooges. These were NOT children with special need, or children who later ended up with IEPs.

Kids just don't understand that you cannot do things in real life that you see on tv or the computer. They think real life and the computer/tv are the same.


Well-Known Member
Totally agree with susie star. Mine used to start to tattle and i stopped them with is anybody hurt? Then i don't want to hear it.