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  #1  
Old 05-17-2018, 07:50 AM
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CeridwenLynne CeridwenLynne is online now
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Default How To Deal With Excessive Tattling

I work with 4 yo pre-k children and have several kids who love to tattle on others hoping to get them in trouble. Iíve tried to explain to them the difference between tattling (telling me or another teacher to get someone else in trouble) and reporting ( telling a teacher if they or someone is hurt or doing something dangerous). Some of them get it and are doing much better about not always coming up to me and tattling on their friends but others donít or choose to tattle anyway. If Johnny is hogging the ball- donít tattle. If Johnny punched Mary in the stomach and now sheís crying -tell me. If 2yo Tommy is putting rocks in his mouth on the playground and might swallow the ó tell me.

Iíve read about having a ďtattle bearĒ in the classroom where if a kid wants to tattle he/she can go tell the stuffed animal instead. Has anyone tried this? Does it work? At first I thought it sounded like a good idea but then started to think it might encourage tattling.

I have one girl who even likes to tattle on other kids when their parents come to pick them up. The other day when a boys mom came to pick him up she calmly informed the mom that he had had a time out after snack because he snorted his milk and spit.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:56 AM
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I always reiterate the difference by saying "Are you telling me to get Johnny IN trouble or to get Johnny out of trouble?"

If it's to get Johnny in trouble, the tattler sits in time out.
If it's to get Johnny out of trouble, we discuss how awesome it was to help him out and how going to an adult in charge was a good choice!

Basically I really make a big to-do about making the right choice and have a consequence for "tattling". Firm and swift.

Some kids pick up on it fairly quickly and others end up sitting a couple times before they truly understand but honestly I've never had a kid that didn't get it after a couple weeks.

I've also used NannyDe method of using the smallest DCK in the house as the "Complaint Department" and anytime someone feels the need to tattle, they go tell the Complaint Department. The littlest kids usually LOVES that an older kid is talking to them. That works well too!

I have heard of many providers having a Tattle Turtle, Bear or Ear but I've personally just never really made that much effort and "cutsie-ness" into teaching kids about tattling.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:01 AM
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sharlan sharlan is online now
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Unfortunately my tattler is a barely 2 yo. That girl tattles all day long. She barely talks, but man can she tattle!

She points to her arm, leg, finger, toe ,hair, etc, then points at the offending child that touched her. She takes things away from the other 2 yo and brings them to me and says " no C". Anything she doesn't want him to have.

I hold my hand up and say "stop".

I ask the older kids, "is it dangerous", then I respond accordingly.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:18 AM
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I hold my hand up (STOP). Then I ask "Is it hurting someone or something?" (NO) "Go play!"

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Old 05-17-2018, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharlan View Post
Unfortunately my tattler is a barely 2 yo. That girl tattles all day long. She barely talks, but man can she tattle!
Could it be- that's her way of getting attention and tattling is just a tool?
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:23 PM
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My experience:
We had a tattle monkey (bongo the beanie baby). She sat on the counter in the classroom and the kids could tattle to her, share their ideas ect. The kids loved it. The best part was it ended the tattling, because the monkey WASNT just for tattling. It also became a reward too. If they were good, or did something kind, I would let them snuggle the monkey at nap. Ended up becoming a huge deal. We even sent her on vacations (and had Molly monkey visit). Monkey taught the kids about 23 cities and the country of iraq (and what a solider does. Sent her to iraq with my friend).
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:43 AM
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One of my personal faves is the "Got tell the president". Have a picture of a president up on the wall and have them go tell him/her.

Having a picture of our current POTUS may frighten the young so maybe pick a former president. Maybe Obama or JFK? I personally wouldn't go with Nixon. Just sayin.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSD View Post
Could it be- that's her way of getting attention and tattling is just a tool?

Most definitely. She is a very needy child. I give her a lot of attention, hugs, when she's not tattling.
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:25 PM
BrynleeJean BrynleeJean is offline
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I did the tattle bear in a pre k class of mine a few years in a row in a center. I think it worked well there because of the consistency in their ages. It starts as a game to them, for almost a week or two they come back and forth to me and almost like test me to see if they can really just get up and talk to the bear about tattling. i always just redirect they get excited, then after that two weeks they are bored of the bear, and also know not to come talk to me unless its important so tattling is pretty much gone. in a group of 25 pre k kids its great

in my homes i tried it, i may not have been as routine with it or stuck to it for the necessary time, but in a large group like 25 tattling 4 year olds i find the bear works cuz its a one fix for all and i don't have the time in my 8 hour day to talk to each kid about what to tattle and what not to and to to just train them right if that makes sense where in the home i did! So my little tattling buddy in my home who drove me nuts just got talks, again about two good weeks of head banging consistency. reminding him several times a day that unless someone is in danger or hurt, he shouldn't come tell me because he wouldn't like it if someone was telling on him all the time. he was old enough to understand and smart enough and we have a child/provider connection because of the small ratio benefit. He learned
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:15 AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I think Iím going to do the tattle bear but not use him especially for tattling. Iím going to sit a stuffed bear in a corner and let the kids pick a name for him. Once theyíve picked a name Iím going to redirect the children to go and tell (Oscar, Benny, Bonnie, Fluffy) when they start to tattle.

Kid: Ms. Ceridwen. Johnny made a mean face at me.
Me: Donít tell me. Letís go tell Oscar.

Kid: Ms. Ceridwen. Mary said I was a baby.
Me: Go tell Oscar about it.

I also like the idea about talking to the president but donít think I could get political as I work in a center Hmm. Maybe I could if I used Abraham Lincoln.
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:17 PM
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I have a tattle book. When they come to me to tattle, I tell them to draw a picture of their story and I hand them the book and the pencil. Theyíre able to get it out, and they feel Iím giving their concerns some attention.
Some days the book and pencil are used all day long, and sometimes it stays in the drawer for weeks.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:44 AM
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Are your trying to help or hurt?
Is it a big problem (blood, puke, poop) or a little problem?

That's what I ask, first. If they are trying to help, then I investigate further. We go see if there is a toy being chewed on, etc. Then, I encourage the tattler to talk to the child. If they are helping, we use helping words. "We eat food, not toys. Come and I'll help you put that in the sink."
"I did not like the way you touched me. Please ask."
"You hurt my feelings when you yelled in my face. Please use your words."
"The baby was playing with that toys first. You should give it back."

If the other child truly is being difficult, then I step in.

If they are trying to hurt, or get a child in trouble, they are either asked to use their words and talk it out with the other child or are told that it's a little problem, and sometimes, it's not our business.
"What the baby did today is not your mom's business. But you know not to snort and spit your milk."

Ask parent's of toddlers who tattle on daytime kids to just reply "not my business" and change the subject. the lack of reaction will stop the tattling to them. They are looking for the big round eyes and "Oooh, really? What else happened today?" If they don't get it, they'll stop doing it.

I find the idea of telling a poster or stuffy does not really teach the kids how to make judgement calls, or how to solve a problem. When they tattle, asking them to determine their real agenda and to deal with that agenda themselves will help them later in life. Even very young ones need to be introduced to their choices in a situation, and then guided.
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:23 PM
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Unless your tattler is a goody goody or super sneaky, and all else fails, I always say "Ok, Jane/John, I'm going to listen to what you say about Mark/Mary. Then, I'm going to ask your friends if you did anything bad through out the day. Ok?" Usually, they say no.
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