Educational Blog

Two Kids Thinking

Teaching Kids to Own Up To Their Actions

We have all seen it; our children break a lamp, get in trouble at school, or get a bad grade on an assignment. What do they do? Typically, they blame someone else. “It wasn’t MY fault, she pushed me into the lamp”, or “The teacher didn’t give us enough time to do the work, it wasn’t my fault”.

Children tend to blame others for their mistake. Why is this? Young children don’t really understand that everyone makes mistakes. They may blame someone to avoid disappointing their parents or to keep from getting into trouble. These children need to be taught that blaming others isn’t the right thing to do.

As the child gets older, they do know better, but those children who weren’t taught to take responsibility for their actions continue to blame others. These children play the “victim” and they will continue to play that role until they are taught to take responsibility for their actions.

How do children learn responsibility? Typically, they learn it three different ways.

  1. Watching you! Do you tend to play victim? Or do you take responsibility when something goes wrong? Children learn best from example, and their best role model should be their parents.
  2. They learn from being taught. When a child makes a mistake, teach them to own up to it. Instruct them with encouragement-not blame. .
  3. Through Life lessons. If they are forced to deal with the consequences of a bad decision, they are more likely to not make that mistake again.

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