We had a counselor from the nearby crisis center come in and talk to each class about bullying last week. It was a really good presentation, letting the kids know when to seek help and how to determine what is bullying.
In the beginning he asked the kids if they knew what a crisis center was. One little girl raises her hand and says, "It's a place where people go to learn their manners." I had to chuckle a bit, even the counselor did. He told her that wasn't all entirely wrong.
One part of his presentation covers the difference between tattling to get someone in trouble and tattling to get someone out of trouble. So yesterday I had my little miss come up to me to say something about her math group, I usually can tell in the first two words if this is for sure tattling. So I stopped her and asked if she was going to tattle. She says, "No! It's just that they made a mess and then so in so said this and then they didn't clean it up." There was more to that story... Still tattling, I stop her again and question her.
Little Miss comes back at me, "But I am telling you to get them OUT of trouble."
I had to chuckle and shake my head. I sent her on her way. Heck, she actually listened and remembered what the counselor had said, I couldn't argue with that right there and then.
Note to self- next lesson on tattling must include examples of what it means to get someone out of trouble and to get someone in trouble.