21 Strategies to Teach Learners Not to Tattle

Are you looking for strategies to teach students not to tattle? If so, keep reading.

1. Make sure the student knows what information is appropriate to report (e.g., peers’ emergencies, injuries, fighting, etc.).

2. Make sure the student knows what information is not appropriate to report (e.g., peers whispering, not working, copying, wasting time, etc.).

3. Provide mobility to prevent the student’s need to tattle. If you see behavior happen, it will not be appropriate for the students to call attention to it.

4. Do not inadvertently reinforce tattling by overreacting.

5. Make decisions based on what you observe rather than what is reported to you to keep objectivity.

6. Embody appropriate behavior for the student. Publicly praise and privately redirect student behavior.

7. Minimize the emphasis on competition. A highly competitive environment may increase the likelihood of tattling.

8. Explain the logical consequences of tattling to the student (e.g., peers will not want to interact with them, peers will retaliate, etc.).

9. Teach the student appropriate ways to express displeasure, anger, frustration, etc.

10. On occasions where the student comes to you to tattle, stop, and ask the student, “Is this something that is so essential that you need to come to me?” “Is someone hurt?” “Is this something you can solve without me?” etc.

11. Urge the student to use problem-solving skills: (a) find the problem, (b) find goals and objectives, (c) create strategies, (d) create a plan for action, and (e) carry out the plan.

12. Do not listen to the student. Immediately stop the student when tattling begins.

13. Make sure the student does not go to another adult when you don’t respond to their tattling.

14. Minimize the chance for the student to be in competitive learning activities that may cause tattling.

15. Immediately remove the student from interacting with others when tattling begins.

16. Be firm, fair, and consistent when dealing with tattling. Do not let tattling go one time and expect appropriate behavior the next time.

17. Create a list of the number of times each day the student tattles. Make the student aware of the number of times each day they come to you to tattle.

18. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

19. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

20. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

21. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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