While Gracie and Laila were sitting at the table, coloring, I saw two-year-old Laila start to color on the table. Stopping only long enough to tell her “no”, I went on to the kitchen sink. My back was turned and I could not see her. Gracie, my four-year-old, spoke up in an accusing sing-song voice, “Mama, Laila is writing on the table again.” I walked to the table and gave Gracie a little pop with the switch. “Don’t tattle-tale on your sister,” I said. “You sound as if you would be pleased for her to get into trouble. Tell her to stop coloring on the table, and if she will not listen, then you can tell me.” I had gone over this with Gracie the day before and explained to her the importance of seeking the best for her little sister.

In the past I have come across people, children and adults alike, that are not trustworthy. You can guarantee that they will take everything you say or do and run straight to Mom, or Pastor, and accuse the brethren. I remember as a child playing with children that were always saying, “I’m gonna tell my mama.” I thought it was mean and untrustworthy of them. And even now as a mother, I do not want my children being the accusers.

We desire to maintain a close enough relationship with our children that they are comfortable telling us everything. And knowing they will one day grow up and become members of society, I do not want to raise tattling adults that no one will trust. I seek to instill wisdom in my children so that they can discern right from wrong. Even at four years of age, I expect them to discern the difference between what Mom really needs to know and what is just tattle-telling.

I have even seen it in husbands and wives, where the wife holds her husband accountable by having their children tattle on him. She might not even know what she is doing, but by listening to her children tell on Daddy, she is rewarding them. She should be teaching them not to talk about things that are none of their business.

A man and his thirteen-year-old son are on their way home and see a car broken down on the side of the road. They stop to help, and it happens that the driver is an attractive woman. That night the son tells Mom about them stopping to help a woman. “Was she good-looking?” “Oh, yeah! Very!” The mother is upset and goes to father and demands, “Why did you not tell me you stopped and helped a lady?” “I forgot about it.” The fight is on.

The Bible says that “The heart of her husband doth safety trust in her.” The wife is not building trust; instead she is becoming the accuser and using her son to get information to hold against her husband. Teach your children to be trustworthy, honest, and not accusers of the brethren so they can become good elders of the church and good wives that deserve their husband’s trust.

I have just scratched the surface of this subject that’s so important to training our kids to be happy, productive adults. I am going to write more about this topic soon. If you have any comments or questions, send them to me at [email protected] and add “Building Trust” in the subject line. I would love to hear from you!

—Shalom