Telling vs Tattling | How to stop children telling on each other!

"He's not sitting in his place!!!    She is looking at my book!!!!  He has 2 pencils!!!!   She stuck her tongue out at me!!!!"

All teachers experience this throughout the day, whether in Early Years or Primary School classes some children love to tell tales and constantly tattle on others. As well as being quite annoying it pulls you away from teaching and creates unnecessary upset between sensitive children.

Within my classroom, I strive for the environment to be safe and supportive and all adults to be approachable. Children need to develop their independence, confidence and social skills to solve problems and know when it's appropriate for an adult to be involved. 

So how do I help children know what is important and what is not?

  • Start whole class work on Tattling versus Telling
  • Use scenarios that are relevant to your cohort (use previous experiences)

Eventually, I end up with few key children to do extra work with throughout the year.


The Key Points I wish children to differentiate between: 

Tattling - unnecessary 

Telling - Ok to tell the teacher

Getting someone into trouble

Keeping them safe


On Purpose

Harmless (tongue out)

Dangerous (someone sick or hurt)

Can solve it on your own

Need help from an adult


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