STUDY: Tattling Is Good For Kids; How to Foster Good Behavior

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 Well-documented research from the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health suggests positive peer reporting helps socially rejected students.

 Students “tattle” to the teacher about their positive interactions with the ostracized student. This allows the child’s classmates to see his/her good qualities and improves the child’s behavior problems and social standing. The interactions with the child’s peers become more positive.

Kids want acceptance, approval and appreciation, so the best way for teachers and parents to change behavior— is give positive feedback, even for the littlest things. Boys Town, one of the largest non-profit childcare organizations in the country, is offering this expert advice to help encourage positive behavior.   

  1. Catch the child being good. Even kids that behave badly a lot behave appropriately more often than not; it’s just the inappropriate behavior gets all the attention.
  2. If a child does something wrong – point out the mistake they made, but tell them what they did right as well.
  3.  Praise your child when they use the skills you have taught them – it reinforces the skill and makes them more likely to use it in the future.

4. Be consistent and praise often and you will be amazed by the change in behavior.

“Most of what kids do is appropriate and is worthy of acknowledging and all it would take is a, hey you look pretty nice today,” said Boys Town psychologist, Dr. Patrick Friman.

About Boys Town Nationally, Boys Town has been a beacon of hope for America’s children and families through its life-changing youth care and health care programs for more than 90 years. In 2014, Boys Town’s Integrated Continuum of youth care and health care programs impacted more than 500,000 children and families across America. This includes those who received services from Boys Town’s residential programs as well as those served by the many varied programs that comprise the Boys Town Integrated Continuum of Child and Family Services, including In-Home Family Services, health care services provided by Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Boys Town National Hotline.

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