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Crying and tattling
Old 11-01-2018, 02:43 PM
 
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How do you handle constant crying and tattling? I’ve spent years in intermediate grades and this was never an issue, but subbing for first grade lately, and it’s huge!

“Susie pinched me!” (Sobbing)

“Johnny punched me!” “Well he called me stupid!”

I don’t know how they managed all this without me seeing, but supposedly this is all happening. Which leads to a ridiculous amount of tears from both the person who is hurt and then also the person who is blamed for causing the hurt but always “didn’t do it” cries for being blamed!

As a sub, I feel like the most I can do is separate students, give them a talking to, and perhaps have them clip down (or whatever the behavior system is.) I really don’t think anyone is getting legitimately hurt enough to warrant going to the office, but I’m still hearing all these complaints about physical behavior (pinching, pushing, punching, choking) but never see it actually happening. In my opinion, the kids are immature and are blowing little things out of proportion and then crying about it. A touch becomes a punch, etc.

What do you do in this kind of situation?


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Old 11-01-2018, 07:09 PM
 
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Quote:
What do you do in this kind of situation?
Crying: I tell them to dry it up and get back on task.

Tattling: I try not to roll my eyes.


Of course, I teach 8th graders.
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:17 PM
 
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I tell students to write what happened. I also try to get at least another student who witnesseed what happen write something. I don't really do anything with the reports because I never had one that actually showed problems when it was writtened out.
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:06 AM
 
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It depends on the situation, obviously, but with tattling, I tend to use one of the following:
  • "Thank you for telling me."
  • "What are you going to to do about it?"("Did you use your words and ask him/her to stop?)
  • "What would you like me to do about it?"

The answers I most often get are:
  • A smile as he/she walks away.
  • A sheepish look as he/she walks away
  • "I just wanted you to know." (If the reply is "Make him stop" I may go to "Use your words...")

The caution here is that if there's any evidence of physical harm like, say, a red mark, policy requires action. Otherwise, the less attention that is given to tattling, the better. We have an obligation to teach kids coping skills. (My script here may be a bit abbreviated to give a sense of the approach. Your tone of voice is important; you don't want the kids to feel rejected.) I try to teach the kid to manage the situation and only intervene if they truly need some help.

If they truly need help, I keep it simple and quick, usually involving both parties. For example, I might remind the offender of our classroom rule to "keep our hands to ourselves" and negotiate an apology to the victim. Long discussions are not required.

Most teachers K through first (and maybe into second) grade will admit that once tattling starts it becomes contagious and rampant. It's important not to reward it unintentionally. I'm sympathetic but firm. It can be challenging to decide whether or not direct intervention is required but I've found it usually is not and the kids ultimately "enjoy" taking care of situations themselves.

Tears come easy at that age. It takes a lot of effort on my part not to cuddle and coddle--that's my instinctive reaction. Crying is okay. But we are all learning to manage our emotions. There's work to be done, lessons to be taught and learned as we also learn how to live and learn together.
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