We have had a lot of issues of tattling in my third-grade class lately. It is very difficult to find a balance between we are a class community, like a family, and we need to help each other and work together, and everyone worry about themselves and then everyone will be taken care of.
So today we talked about tattling vs telling.
I think the biggest mindset shift for my students is going from “trying to get someone in trouble” to “keeping someone safe and helping them.”
They also can handle a lot more problems than they give themselves credit for. When a kiddo comes to me to tell me someone stole their pencil or whatever, my first question is, “well what did you say to them?” Most of the time their response is “Nothing, I came and told you!” I want to get them out of that habit, because 9 times out of 10 it was just a miscommunication or accident that can easily be fixed without my help.
Kids also have a very strong sense of justice and they want everything to be “fair.” I discuss that further in an old blog post you can read here. So we really need to switch our thinking and ponder how we can help each other and NOT just try to get each other in trouble.