How do you discipline when your kids tattle and act like victims? Do they cry, whine, and sob? Do their cries irritate you like fingernails scratching a blackboard? Would you like it to stop?
Imagine hearing your Cory fight with his older brother. When he sees you coming he starts to cry. As you come closer his cries turn into shrieks and sobs. Between the sobs he tattles on Joe. ‘Oh no,’ you think, ‘not again.’ You know Cory wants to get his older brother, 12 year-old Joe, in trouble.
But Cory is 11 years-old. It’s time to leave the tears behind and start using words.
You ask yourself, “What’s Cory getting by acting like a victim?” It’s true he wants to get Joe in trouble. But why does he whine and sob? This is what little kids do.
Could it be that Cory wants your sympathy, hugs, and soothing words? Does he want to prove he’s weak and can’t take care of himself? Does he want to avoid growing up so you’ll keep babying him? Does he want to avoid being responsible?
You don’t want Cory to see himself as a victim. You want him to stop crying and begin using words when he’s upset. You want him to enjoy becoming a responsible person. What can you do?
Discipline Tips for Kids Who Tattle Like Victims:
- It’s time to teach Cory self-discipline. Go for a walk with Cory. Ask him if he’s tired of crying when he’s mad at Joe. Ask him if he’d like to handle conflicts better. Talk to him about the importance of using words without tears when he’s upset. Tell him how proud you’ll be when he talks out his problems without tears.
- Role-play a frequent conflict with Joe. Have Cory pretend he’s Joe and you become Cory. Show Cory how you’d like him to act with Joe. Trade roles with Cory. Do this several times. Make it fun. Then discuss how you’d like him to talk instead of cry when he’s mad at Joe. Ask him if he’s willing to try.
- Compliment when Cory uses words, acts like he’s growing up, and becoming more responsible when he’s upset with Joe. Do it often.
If you follow these suggestions Cory will cry less. His whining and tears won’t sound like fingernails on a blackboard. He’ll be more responsible too.
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