Teaching Kids to Use Words but not be Tattle Tale

I am finding that it’s really difficult to teach my children to tell me before hitting their sibling or lashing out at them loudly. I am teaching them to use their words instead of just screaming at each other or worse, hit each other. So far the theory of using your words seems to be working pretty well, the only huge issue is that they are so used to having Aj be violent that the poor kid never gets a chance. Aj is doing so great at speaking up for himself and telling his family whether he likes what is going on or not.  This is much better than in the past when he would simply lash out physically towards someone he was upset with.

Walking NH Trail

My youngest son, K-man, really does not care if he gets smacked by his siblings. Does not bother him. He has not seem to grasp this concept of use your words and stop instigating others, so that your siblings will truly enjoy their time with you. It’s a work in progress these days. Time outs happen frequently and loss of privileges happen frequently as a means to redirect this spoiled child that had been treated as if he was able to get away with anything.

While each child learns to come to an adult in the home or at a park before lashing out at their sibling or another child, they are also learning what they need to go to an adult for and not. This is where tattle tale comes into play, I do not want my kids to be a tattle tale. I want my kids to handle some conflict on their own and only come to an adult if they feel the conflict is not being resolved on their own.  I am slightly getting annoyed and concerned that my kids are going to turn into tattle tales when in all reality I simply wanted to teach them to go to an adult before taking matters into their own hands when conflict gets too much.

What did you do to teach your children this concept of using their words?

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  1. My kids are spaced just right for this (the older three anyway) and it wasn’t an issue. The youngest, however, had a huge challenge with tattling on his cousin (close to his age) when they played together. He’s kind of outgrowing it now though…I think it had a lot to do w/grandpa. They both have grandpa’s undivided attention most times they visit but when we’re all together they have to share him (grandpa’s a fun guy). 🙂

    I think with consistent reinforcement of your principles it will all just work out. Most things do. 🙂

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