There’s nothing like the first day back at school to make you feel like a completely incompetent mother.
Despite the fact that for some reason I had totally forgotten what was necessary on a school morning, I then had half the parents at school telling me they were disappointed school was going back.
‘Really?’ I wanted to ask. ‘Seriously?’
Turns out I’m apparently the only mother not shedding a tear as their offspring leave for the day, because I will miss them.
Now I love my kids. I do. I enjoy their company and the seeing them and being able to chat through out the day, and take my time in the mornings is nice.
But I don’t enjoy kids fighting.
And I really, really don’t enjoy all the Dobbing.
Dobbing, or being a tattle tale as our American friends like to call it, is the bane of my existence. It seems that when my children compare their own actions to the behaviour of their siblings, they come out far superior, and then need to report this fact to myself.
Seventy thousand times a day.
I know it’s partly my fault. When you’re trying to raise your children to consider their actions and how they effect others, it’s only natural to start comparing. Let’s face it, it’s far easier for everyone to see how imperfect others are, instead of their own many faults. I quite often have to remove myself from a ridiculously high horse, and sit myself firmly on the ground.
But this post isn’t about me. It’s about my kids.
And yes, I’m telling on them.
The problem with dobbing, is not so much the reporting on another. There is a time and a place when this is necessary. Say when someone is trying to set the house on fire, or your brother is chasing you with an ax. In those moments, I quite enjoy the dobbing.
And then there are the other times, when someone is completely disregarding my authority, such as this morning when I told Ava to leave her hair tie in her hair, and then 30 seconds later Bridie is informing that she has, in fact taken it out.
Or when I say it’s time to clean rooms, and I get the constant steady stream of complaints about the other occupant of the room ‘not helping.’
That’s when it gets annoying, and I want to pull out my hair and drink a gallon of iced coffee.
The problem with Dobbing, (apart from the annoyance factor), comes down to the heart of the child. Often, the act of telling on another is simply to get them in trouble. Because your know, it’s fun to see someone else get sent to their room.
This is what bugs me most about it; that the reporting is done with a malicious attempt to elevate themselves as the golden child, and delight in their siblings reprimand.
It’s not very nice.
Because of this, in out home we have a few ‘Dobbing rules.’
It is acceptable to tell mum when
- someone is physically or emotionally hurting you
- someone is doing something dangerous that will hurt themselves or someone else
- someone has directly disobeyed me and it is resulting in a dangerous ativity (which is kind of the same as the above point.)
It is not ok to dob when
- someone has disobeyed me and you have seen it, but it doesn’t effect you. Mind your own business, I will find out.
- you can work the problem out for yourself. (Like in the room cleaning scenario)
- when another adult, (like dad) has already dealt with the issue
If they break the rules, and I think that they have a malicious attitude, they will be sent to their room to think about their actions, and there may possibly be another consequence as well.
Basically it’s a long, drawn out process that is rather exhausting and often results in me being exasperated and saying ‘stop Dobbing!’ a lot.
Hence my desire to happily drop my eldest girls off at school and enjoy the peace an quiet
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to break up a fight over a ball. *sigh*
What’s your plans to deal with it?