Children tattle for the same reasons adults do — to exert power, to boost self-esteem, or just to get attention. “Tattling allows a child to one-up another child, to gain favor in the eyes of his parent or teacher,” says Jerry Wyckoff, a child psychologist in Prairie Village, Kan., and the author of How to Discipline Your 6- to 12-Year-Old … Without Losing Your Mind.
Tattling also has its positive side: It can demonstrate your child’s desire to see that right prevails. And since kids are always working on their conflict-resolution skills, tattling is sometimes an alternative to name calling and other primitive problem-solving methods.
Even so, this kind of behavior is something a father should put the brakes on pretty quickly, because no one likes a tattletale.