Most children love to blame someone else for their troubles and mishaps. If they do something wrong or get into trouble then their gut instincts are to put the blame on the next person that they can. Why do they do this? The answer may surprise you. Good parenting and teaching your child to accept responsibility should start at a young age.
Kids make these quick sudden “blame decisions” because they have been taught that accepting self-responsibility is going to have a negative result with their parents. Take a step back when your child gets in trouble. What does he or she say? How often does he say it? Take notice.
Most often, children will say “He did it,” or “It's not my fault,” or “My teacher gave me a bad grade,” etc. If this describes your child then you must examine your own previous attitudes. Consider how you have treated them in the past when trouble would arise.
The realization will then set in that you have punished them in the past whenever they accepted responsibility after getting in trouble. Think about it. You have taught them that when they do something wrong, and admit it, then they will still get punished. Now can you see why they are so quick to blame?
The young child who spills a glass of juice as a three-year-old, and receives a response of anger and frustration from you, now believes that he is a disappointment and interprets this anger and frustration as rejection.
No child wants to be rejected. And to avoid this “rejection” they will be very quick to put it on somebody else, especially if Mommy and Daddy are going to be mad. Your child will seek out any excuse possible to avoid that kind of reproach. Children always want to be loved.
So what would be a more positive approach to your children if they do something wrong? Let's take the above example if your young child was to drop a glass of juice on the floor. Instead of yelling at him, instead of a slap, instead of a harsh tone of voice, try a more peaceful approach.
A healthy response would be to say “That's ok Adam, we all spill juice sometimes. I know that you did not do this on purpose, now let's get this cleaned up together.” Add to that a smile and a big hug and kiss. Regardless of how many times Adam has spilled something that day or that week, your response should always be the same, loving, caring, understanding.
By doing so you will avoid teaching your child to avoid responsibility out of fear of being slapped, yelled at, or criticized. These actions will also go a long way into both the development of his self-esteem and your parent-child relationship. It is a great investment in your child.