Telling tales is considered to be a very “un-Australian” behaviour but let’s face it- as adults we often call it “whistle blowing” and often admire the truth tellers!
Children tell us “tales” for many reasons.
For sure they might be seeking to get their siblings or classmates into trouble. They also might be trying to become more popular with a teacher or to in some way weild personal power.
However- over my career I have often found these 2 reasons to be more evident-
- Risky behaviour has been witnessed – behaviours we would DEFINITELY want to be told about.
- A child has been bullied and is frightened and definitely want the behaviour to stop.
So- the message is- listen carefully and don’t just send children away before listening to them. At least listen and if their tale telling is inappropriate tell them why BUT do not tell them they cannot come back if something is important and needs to be communicated.
Children must ALWAYS know they can depend on parents and teachers to be there and to listen in troubling and problematic situations.
The following link raises some important points. Sure- especially as teachers, we get sick and tired of tales but we need to look closely at the reasons for the tales and consider if some action needs to be taken- even if it is just to be a receptive listener or to encourage a child in a situation that is bothering them.