Book Review A Tale of Tattletales
By Sylvia Cochran – Book Review – Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal: A Tale of Tattletales
Jeanie Franz Ransom
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Publication Date: August 2005
Age Range: 4 to 8
Teaching children not to tattle but instead try to work things out amongst themselves takes effort. In addition, there are times when adults must be told right away when something is amiss. So how does a parent go about teaching a youngster this fine line?
Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal explains – with the help of adorable illustrations – how to help children learn the difference between a squabble they can handle themselves and a situation that calls for adult intervention. While the story line may come to a rather sudden finish, what really grips children’s attention is the sheer number of ‘tattles’ that seem to come right from everyday life.
Jeanie Franz Ransom offers this book as a tool for the parent whose nerves are beginning to fray over the endless accusations that youngsters level against one another. Pitting the parent into the thankless position of referee, mom or dad become negotiators, mediators and thus eliminate the need for the kids to learn how to speak up, negotiate, give and take. In the end, the parents likely feel overwhelmed, bothered and may try to shut down any more tattles with impatient words.
Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal assists parents to understand that a tattletale is likely trying to get attention (even if it is negative) or underscore her ‘good’ behavior when compared to another kid’s acting out. It also helps mom or dad nip in the bud any conflict avoidance that will later hamper the child’s ability to negotiate his way in the adult world.
Use this easy-to-read children’s book as a tool to get out and read with children who are tattling. Lead them to understand that there is a time and place for getting an adult’s help, but that not each playground interaction calls for this type of intervention.
Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal also empowers the child who might witness the beginnings of bullying behavior in another child but is afraid of being labeled a tattletale. By understanding that there is appropriate tattling, a parent can aid a child to counteract this type of behavior early on.
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