response to tattling?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by thesub, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Mar 9, 2018

    I am a p/t aide in 2nd grade and don't have much experience with SOME tattling situations. Today at lunch a little girl (A) came upto me and said that other kids at her table were sharing their lunches. Now A is new to our school and I'm not sure how much she knows about tattling vs telling. So I walked upto that table and reminded them of school rules of not sharing lunch. Another kid at that table got angry and asked A loudly, "why are you tattling?" Just at that moment, they were all dismissed from lunch and I lost a teaching moment.

    Next time around, what is a good response to complaints of "sharing lunch?" How do I get the students to problem solve for themselves about sharing lunch?



    Thanks so much,
    thesub
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    2nd grade, I personally find, is still a tricky age. Most are still in a concrete mindset of what fairness is. If the expectation is, don't share lunch, it's going to be a big deal for many of them. I think you did great reminding them of the expectations because, yeah, they shouldn't be sharing lunch if that's your school's thing.

    It may be a little snarky but I sometimes use the line "Don't do what you don't want tattled".
     
  4. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    I would've just told her to go back to the table and tell them herself that sharing lunch is against the rules and remind her that that isn't something that needs to be tattled about (that's something she can solve herself). That's what I do with my preschoolers.
     
  5. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Thank you...this is so silly but I have to ask: Suppose A had reminded them not to share lunch and they were still doing it, then I step in at that point??? What consequence can I give to kids who were flouting lunch rules - report them to their classroom teacher???
     
  6. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Thank you - appreciate your feedback
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I question whether this is really tattling. When we talk about tattling and telling it includes talk of dangerous activities. Sharing lunch is deemed at many schools as a dangerous activity due to allergies. Now, this girl may just be tattling or she may know the real reason behind not sharing lunches.
     
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  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    To go further, I really am on the A's side about recognizing that sharing lunch is against school rules (a2z brought up an excellent possibility behind the rule). Again, a concrete concept. She is recognizing what the rules are and is demanding Authority (you) enforce them. This is not a bad thing. Again, this is not a bad thing. I would even say it's a Good Thing.

    I know, it is hard when you have a rule and a kid bends it and someone tattles. But, again, they're just recognizing the rule and wanting it enforced. It's hard (and I have more than my share of times where I have to ask before if an actual rule is being broken/someone is hurt or about to be hurt, just for my own sanity) but it's an important thing to stand by.

    Later, I'm sure A will learn more advanced, nuanced social skills behind "tattling". Right now, A likely cares more about school rules and expectations being taught and enforced than the ins and outs of social relationships (again, developmentally normal and a good thing). Later, she'll probably start to make decisions for herself based on the balance between honoring the rules and peer social relationships. I think it's normal for kids to hate being tattled upon long before they worry about the social consequences of their tattling. Perhaps there will come a day, some years down the road, when A might spot kids sharing lunch (perhaps again against school policy) and might decide to trust the kids to know their allergy risks and whatnot or want the acceptance of peers more than she wants to notify authority. (I'm not saying that's the right or wrong decision, just as an example of where her mind might be later.)

    But I'm sure she'll get to the point where she'll have internalized rules and risk assessment and tattling or "tattling" might look different.

    But right now, she's a little kid who just wants the rules enforced. So, yeah, enforce them in this case and even reassure her that, no, we are not supposed to be sharing lunches.
     
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  9. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    If the kids don't listen to her, then that's when I step in and remind them of why we have those rules.
     
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  10. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Could you address the table on Monday? I agree that 2nd grade is tricky because they often seem overly-focused on what's "fair," and they have what I sometimes consider an over-sensitive sense of justice. They want other people to get in trouble for breaking the rules. It's understandable in some cases, and annoying in others ("She's writing in cursive!!" to which I respond, "O....k...?").

    With sharing lunches, I would reassure A that she is right to be concerned: rules against lunch sharing have been implemented because of food allergies (as mentioned already), and it is a safety issue. Then address the students about WHY her coming to you was telling/reporting, not tattling. How would they feel if their friend ate something of theirs and had a very bad reaction to it? They do not want to make their friends sick or hurt, so it's important to only eat their own food.
    You could also talk to A about how to address such a situation in the future, but I've found that with things like school rules (as opposed to social problems), 2nd graders are less likely to listen to peers than adults.
     
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  11. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Thank you all so much....I will ask the teacher on duty next week to remind everyone of the no-sharing rule.
     
  12. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Yeah, I agree with the board :)

    The advent of allergies is serious in schools. Eat your own lunch! I can relate myself, considering I have so many allergies!

    This is what I think. Somebody offered to switch a lunch goody, or shared their snack and Little Ms. A. was not offered any. So she got mad and told you. Everyone knows the rules, but even the kid with allergies wants a piece of candy. Nuts or no nuts. Takes awhile before they realize the consequences unfortunately.

    So what’s tattling? As long as no injuries, theft, or cheating is involved - that’s tattling. Essentially somebody is getting away with something, so I’m tellin’. There is an awful high that comes from seeing your friends get in trouble - even if it results in teasing or getting jumped on. Sad but true. I had a 4 yr old who was so hooked, he tattled on teachers and parents too! Went around saying, “So-n-so’s mother didn’t pay and has bad note in her locker!”. “Ms. MPK came back late from lunch!”

    o_O

    Here’s some of my answers...

    “Does this story have your name in it?”

    “Is she bleeding?”

    “If they need my help, let them ask me.”

    And when you really get tired of it..,

    “Why is this your concern??”

    One of my kids uses this tactic as a diversion to her own punishment. When I tell her she’s going to the office for hitting, she yells, “S has candy and she gave some to everyone on the playground!”

    What?

    That’s supposed to make me forget that you hit somebody??
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    You deserve to be tattled on.

    :p
     
  14. allaphoristic

    allaphoristic Companion

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    One of my kids does this too! It takes all my willpower not to reply "I don't care."
     
  15. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Yeah, but this isn't about me!! :D As long as there was another teacher in the room, I'm safe. If the room is left unattended...well, yes major no-no. As adults, we know if one of us is late, we can cover for each other next time around. When somebody has to run an errand, we don't trip because they have our back and we have theirs. Now those inconsiderate people who never come back on time...that's another thread! Kids don't know this. It's not their business. And that's what tattling is all about. Getting in other folks' business. Busybodies. Troublemakers. I need attention, I need to feel important. Look and listen to me. Entitlement.
     
  16. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    You need a strong, emotional gut check. It makes you want to turn on your heels and say, "Oh, you are so going to the office too!" And that makes little Miss Troublemaker grin with delight.

    I've got a spoiled tattler. Those are the worse. They have to be first in everything. I spent 5 minutes looking for a kid's gift bag. Figured I skipped one and made an extra. Well, as I started handing them out, Tattler One says, "S already has her bag." I said, "What? How do you know?" It's in her locker! I said, "S - Is that true? Bring it here! Why would you take that." Spoiled Tattler says, "I saw K with his, so I took mine."

    What??

    K was going home early. So I put his bag in his locker.

    But Spoiled Tattler saw this and felt she deserved to get her gift bag at that moment too. I remember her telling me, "K has his gift bag." I told her he was going home early. Well, she marched over when I wasn't looking and took hers! Ergo, the missing bag. And of course Tattler One sees everything. Sometimes they wait for an audience to tattle. Has more firepower.

    :helpme:
     
  17. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Within the current culture, this can be a precarious trait to deal with. I, too, have a rule delineating what should and probably should not be reported to a teacher; if physical harm or property damage is occurring, it should be reported. The ultimate goal is that the students and teachers are working together to sustain a productive social environment.

    But then again, as I said above, the situation is precarious. Here's my thinking on this. Rather than encouraging a culture of tattling, I encourage the students to feel free to discuss anything with me. I'm always there to listen. Delving a bit into neurology, the brain notices everything, but almost immediately forgets much of what it notices. This is essential to survival; we'd go nuts if we consciously noticed every little sound, sight, or other feeling. Within this brain checking system, the brain does alert us to potential problems that might or might not need further consideration, but this often occurs more as an intuition or premonition rather than a specific notification. Often the brain has limited sensory data to judge from, so we get a feeling of maybe something's wrong, but I don't know for sure and don't know what it is. (Personally, I like to call it my "spider sense" after what Peter Parker would say, in the original Spiderman cartoon, "My spider sense is tingling").

    I've read research that recommends that the best response to such a tingling, in today's society, is to respond or investigate. The slightest sensory input can alert the brain and that might be all the input we have to alert us to a very real danger. Kids also have this "spider sense". They need to learn to deal with their premonition rather than ignore it. That's why I feel teachers (and parents) should keep an open ear to anything the kids inform them of.

    There are too many dangers facing kids today to ignore what they might tell a teacher. A child might not even realize that s/he needs to report a situation, but s/he does feel a desire to talk to a teacher, and that teacher is needed to listen. A child's eyes or ears might be the only notification prior to an emergency situation in a school. A quiet call to the office or security officer might turn out to be benign, but an error on the side of caution is better than waiting until the emergency occurs.

    Sorry, I have to delve a bit off the subject, but I do need to add a precaution to administration. Not that teachers should begin "crying wolf", I'm not talking about that, but I'm thinking of a very real situation of criminal trespassing on the playground at a school that took 3 teacher phone calls to the office before the police were called. All 3 teachers visually witnessed the unauthorized trespassing by an adult, this wasn't even a maybe premonition, but it took a third teacher's phone call for the administration to take action. I'd recommend that administration respond immediately to all teacher notifications--a delay of seconds, minutes, or in this case several minutes, could be deadly! (Fortunately, in the above case, the trespassers left the school grounds).
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Classic tattling response: "Thanks for telling me".
     
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  19. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Yep, this is exactly what I say if it isn't a life-or-death situation. "Thank you for reporting that."
     
  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I went the opposite way and told them that I really needed to know about any instance, but would have to read it. I put a box up and they were asked to write down their grievances. Once a week we would have a meeting to resolve issues. Needless to say, they soon decided that many issues weren't worth writing about!
     
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  21. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Good one!
     
  22. Lei286

    Lei286 Rookie

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    I teach second grade and sharing lunches in a big NO NO in our school due to allergies...which if sharing is going on, I always remind them "What if the person you're sharing with has an bad food allergy to what's in your lunchbox? So is that a safe thing to do?" I personally wouldn't discourage the "tattling" in this instance because it IS a safety issue and it IS against the rules. Plus, if this child telling you this is new to school, they are also trying to figure out what is and is not acceptable in this school....and we wouldn't want them to think the school is lackadaisical about expected behavior.

    I would let the classroom teacher know if the sharing continues. Then (if needed) the child sharing their lunch could also go sit at a table by his/herself for the rest of lunch if they ignore your warning and continue to share.
     
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  23. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Tattle box

    Adult version - Suggestion Box

    :roll:
     
  24. Kelly Burke

    Kelly Burke New Member

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    I've had issues regarding tattling before as well, and I am never sure how to address it. I work at an after school care program with 60 plus kids, and as you can imagine, there is a lot of tattle tailing. Is this something we should discourage. I've always heard "nobody likes a tattle tail" but should we encourage this in regards to knowing what is going on without our knowledge?
     
  25. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I hear what you are saying. No one likes a tattle tail, but also, no one likes the kids that are always breaking the rules and getting away with it making life awful for the other kids.
     
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  26. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Try to observe before, during and after. Usually, it’s the same person. It’s a rush, a feeling of power when you are judge and see execution take place. Seriously, there are some kids (and adults) who actually snoop around looking for rule breakers. They have a need to see justice being served.

    If you see a real problem, take care of it. But if the tattler is grinning ear to ear, standing by your side while you lay down the law, be wary of this child. If different people report trouble, by all means deal with situation accordingly.

    The tattler has a chronic need to report everything. Nip it in the bud.

    “And this is a problem because....”
    “Nobody is bleeding right?”
    “Didn’t you tell me that 5 minutes ago?”
    “If it’s bothering her, let her come tell me about it. She may take care of it without my help.”
     
  27. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Thank you all!
     
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  28. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    In my classroom, I will never give a consequence for tattling. I am fine with it, as long as the students do not give me false info.
    It is like closely supervising, but for lazy people....lol. (when the kids tattle on one another)

    It does get annoying, but I'm pretty sure a student over there just throw a pencil.
     
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  29. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I'd say this, or just give a quick reminder to the table: "Hey, boys and girls, remember not to share food." Then I'd walk away.

    I've found simply acknowledging the behavior with a short reminder (Remember to use kind words, Please respect our supplies, etc.) is no big inconvenience to me. Usually the rules are there for a reason and I don't like ignoring things completely, because it shows I don't care about the behavior enough to address it at all.
     
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  30. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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