When It’s Okay to “Tattle”

Sometimes, even when we are doing our best to get along, other people can choose to behave badly. This can be frustrating and hurtful. We asked our students during our Emotional Intelligence Circle the question: When is it okay to tattle? We gave students aged 6-11 some life examples and asked them if they thought they could handle the situation on their own OR if they thought they should tell an adult.  The results showed me as a teacher that young kids going to school really may not know when its important to tell an adult. If your a parent, you can try this exercise at home with your own kids and please share with us how they responded. Your input will help our kids  understand how and why other kids think the way they do.  Here is our exercise and how our students responded:

Question to the students:When is it okay to Tattle? I am going to give you some problems and please  share if you think you can solve the problem on your own or whether you think you should share the problem it with an adult in order to help you. Here is what our students said. (25 students participated)

1. A friend won’t share 

Can solve it on my own (OMO): 10

I would tell an adult (TA): 15

2.Something bad keeps happening to you



3. Someone accidentally hurts you



4.You can’t make a single friend


TA: 5

5.Someone hurts your feelings



6. You are lonely all the time



Not sure:2

7. Someone is being unfair



8. You are frightened to go to school

OMO: 20


So interesting to me as a teacher that my students were very confused about when would be a good time to actually share a problem;especially a persistent problem with an adult. I was amazed that some students even between the ages of 8-10 thought that they could solve feeling lonely every single day on their own. It made me feel a bit sad. I continued to teach them in order to help them identify the different types of  problems they may face each day and we began sharing what would be the more responsible thing to do. “When a problem goes on for a long time, it can slowly make us very unhappy. There are times when we should tell an adult and times when it is our responsibility to work out a problem. You have the right to feel safe and happy.If you don’t feel safe and happy, its time to get help.”

Try another exercise with your kids! Invite your kids to suggest situations where they may not be able to resolve conflict or problems. Ensure your kids understand  that when they are in situations that they cannot resolve themselves, the responsible thing to do is get help. Have them talk to you about who they think they could go to if they have such a problem (either at home or school). The important thing is always know that your not alone! 🙂Image)

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