A 6-Year-Old’s Guide to Crime and Punishment


I recognize that it’s age-appropriate for a first grader to be a tattletale. I watch closely the very real struggle of a 6-year-old’s developing mind attempting to navigate how social justice can addle and affect their emotional equilibrium.

Actually, strike that. I don’t understand it at all. My 6-year-old daughter tells on her 3-year-old sister for everything. Everything. The little one can’t fart without the big one snitching on the stench. And it’s not just the squealing that befuddles me, it’s that my 6-year-old expects major consequences for her sister’s purported felonies (not to mention some kind of medal for being the one bringing the crimes and misdemeanors to the forefront).

However, instead of doing my usual eye rolling at all the tattletale-ing, recently I spent 48 hours asking my older daughter what it is, exactly, she thinks I should do to my younger daughter for all of her alleged atrocities. What I learned is that it’s mostly wise to be a fully grown adult and in your right mind before having children of your own, lest your kids get stuck with someone who parents like Kim Jong-un rules. Although in all fairness to Kim Jong-un, my 6-year-old might be a wee bit more vengeful.

Take a look at my 3-year-old’s crimes (according to my 6-year-old), and my 6-year-old’s punishment suggestions:

Photos courtesy of Meredith Carroll and ThinkStock

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