The early elementary years are full of telling and tattling. Teachers try many different techniques to reduce it and lessen the amount of things told to them. But, what if we change the approach? Instead of frustration and “Please stop tattling!” being told to the children, just listen. Listen to what they are saying.

I deal with it as a teacher and now as a parent of a Pre-K student. My brain is hearing many, many ‘problems’ daily. What we need to remember as we are guiding young children is that they are still learning. When they tattle, they are saying “I need help with this.” If you can remember that idea, it will help you respond.

In 4-6 years of life they haven’t had enough experience to understand fully how to deal with every obstacle and problem that comes their way. Help them learn, and listen to them. Even if you say “this sounds like you need some help” that is enough. You know to take a breath, or walk away when frustrated. Children this young do not always know this.

It is a challenge and test of patience, but approach the children with a helping hand instead of frustration. It likely won’t end tattling, but could help with creating strong problem solving children!

Michelle Jones

1st/2nd Grade Teacher