You have probably heard or even became aware of yourself that children are very honest. In most cases adults tend to sweet their words as not to hurt another’s feelings. Children however have not learned this concept of “lying”. They say what they feel and what they are thinking. They also typically have no understanding of events that should be spoken and those that should be kept within family. Thus teachers hear all types of stories and questions and comments from children.
Many parents will cringe when their young child speaks out about certain home events in public. They fear even more when their child begins kindergarten and tells stories from home. I have heard children speak of parent arguments, visits from the police, parents’ drinking habits, and even parent lingerie attire. The stories that children tell can be endless.
In some cases I have been completely shocked from student stories, comments, and questions. These can really catch a teacher off guard. While younger children often have more stories from home to tell, older children can really hit you with some heavy questioning. In some cases it can be very difficult to know exactly what answer to give. Teachers must be careful to give good advice but not get too involved. If you feel that you are getting in over your head, it is likely best to consider calling a counselor for help.
These questions and concerns from older students often involve friendship, parent troubles, grade problems, and even questions about sex and drugs.
It is important to listen to your students. To them, their stories and questions are important. They should also appear to be important to you (even when you feel that they are not). You may possibly be the only person that ever listens to the child.