My Son’s Friend Sometimes Misbehaves After He’s Been Dropped Off. Once He Talked Back to Me. Do I Tattle?
Boys will be boys. But do moms have to be rats? It depends. “Don’t be a snitch about little things, like if he says a bad word,” says Alkon. “But if it’s a bigger issue—for example, he hit someone—let the parent know.” In general, say something if the behavior was so severe that your day-care provider would have informed you, says Lesley Carlin, a coauthor of Etiquette Grrls: Things You Need to Be Told ($14, amazon.com). Tell what happened in a straightforward way without providing color commentary. “Don’t lecture the other parent,” adds Carlin. “Let her decide how to deal with her kid.” As for the sassing, you can consider deploying the nuclear option: Please don’t speak to me like that. If you do, I’ll have to call your mother. Post says: “Depending on how bad it was, when the parent comes, tell her, ‘I hate to say this, but there was a problem with back talking.’ ” Again, you want to keep things matter-of-fact and focus on the specifics of the behavior, not the child himself.