My guest teacher didn't enjoy the deluge of tattling while I was gone one day recently. I don't blame her. I wouldn't either. The day after my absence, we sorted scenarios to help the kids think about when it's appropriate to tell an adult and when there are better options. There obviously are appropriate moments for reporting, so we don't want to silence kids. We need to keep the channels open, but they need strategies too. Simply telling them to stop tattling or "Take care of yourself" (which is one I've said a thousand times or two) is really not enough.
By the way, I changed up the scenarios on another day for added practice. This could happen repeatedly and could parallel popular tattling situations that arise in the classroom. I do believe the sorting activity made sense to my kids. I just hope it still makes sense on the next day I'm gone.
If you're interested in knowing more, I found this idea at the Responsive Classroom. It's a great post.
P.S. Be leary of breaking into the chorus of "Let it go." If your boys are like mine, they'll be covering their ears in agony.