I've come up with a fabulous solution to the tattle-tale problem. You see, it drives me slightly bonkers to think that I'm raising a little informer. Luckily I had some time to ponder this issue before it hit full force. I've had the pleasure of teaching my daughter's Sunday school class the last few months and one of the kids in the class would regularly inform on the others. I would tell the little tyke, each time, let's not tattle OK. But then was left with the conundrum of dealing with the information. On one hand, sometimes things needed to be dealt with but if the accused party was tried, convicted and found guilty in front of the informer well then, I likely would never get the kid to stop tattling. I would try to pull the other kid aside, quietly, if I could. Or sometimes there was evidence. As in a spilled cup of water all over the table and the accused's shirt. Still, the issue was how to get a kid to not tell on another just to get them in trouble.
Then Kaiya started in on it. "Baby brother bit me." Oh. Ok. And then it hit me. "Kaiya, for every bad thing you tell that CJ does you have to tell me three good things he did too. " She rattled off, quite happily, "Um, he took a nap! He drank his bottle! He threw up!" I didn't debate the qualification of the last one and just thanked her for her good list. She was so happy about it she kept rattling off good things he was doing/had done.
While there may in fact be better solutions than mine it did seem to get the child to stop focusing on the negative about another child, at least long enough for them to think of three good things.