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How to get my children to stop doing this...

How do I get my children to take responsibility for their actions? My children are 7 and 10 and whenever I tell them to stop doing something they will say "Well he/she is doing it too!" even when it's obvious they are the only one doing whatever it is they are doing. It drives me insane. I am worried that when they get older, they will always blame someone else for their actions and that is not okay. How do I stop them from doing this?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:20 AM on Jan. 31, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (8)
  • LOL its a typical kid thing, they will grow out of it. When my DD says that (who's 5) I ask "well if (insert sons name) jumped in the snow naked, would you?" She always replies no and I said okay then. She understands what I am trying to tell her.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 11:22 AM on Jan. 31, 2013

  • What do you do after they say it? I would enforce consequences and reward postive behavior. I would just say I am not worried about Mary right now, but about what YOU are doing, so you can go to your room for 30 minutes, and if you come out before I call you, it will be an hour.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 11:23 AM on Jan. 31, 2013

  • I'm not sure if it's a kid thing or just that age. My kids are the same age as yours, and my 10 year old tries to blame other people a lot. I agree with Jersey, pointing out that you aren't talking about what the other kid is doing. We're talking about your behavior right now.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 11:26 AM on Jan. 31, 2013

  • My policy is that I tell them once and if they do it again they are punished. I don't yell, I don't do the count down thing. One time is all they get. If someone else is doing it, then that doesn't matter, what matters is did they do it or not, and did they already have their one warning.

    Answer by Bmat at 11:29 AM on Jan. 31, 2013

  • make them stand in the corner till one of them admits or proves they didnt do it... and then punish the one who did it not only for doing the wrong thing but also for lying... i always say lying is not acceptable and punish lying more than for the thing they did wrong... it really works for me! also make the kid that was lying appoligize to the other kid for lying and getting them in trouble (by making them stand in timeout too because they lied)

    Answer by futurebabykar at 11:41 AM on Jan. 31, 2013

  • futurebaby, I thought this is your first kid?

    Answer by jerseydiva at 11:49 AM on Jan. 31, 2013

  • I think it's defensive behavior. They feel attacked. They justify their actions.
    I think it's a natural consequence of negating them. You trigger defensiveness, justification, resentment & victim feelings.

    I probably would just acknowledge what they say--that they are saying it, rather than fueling the impulse more by reacting. "Yes," or "I know he is," or "Okay," or "Yeah?" kind of thing. More resistance just promotes more feelings of resentment & victimhood (and that focus is likely the exact opposite of what you want--the focus on how UNFAIR & UNJUSTIFIED mom is, rather than the focus on the issue or behavior & the problem with it, or how it was problematic for you.)

    If you really want to discourage it, I'd suggest frogdawg's idea of explaining that this thing just drives you crazy, is your pet peeve, and that you are going to punish extra for that specifically. Acknowledge that it may not be fair, it's just your "thing."

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:02 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

  • Lay down the law and tell them that they need to learn every action has a reaction.

    Answer by Im-HiDdEn at 2:50 AM on Feb. 2, 2013

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