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So . . . should children EVER be held accountable for their own actions?

Too many moms who come on here for behavior advice are getting bashed for "not paying enough attention" to their kid. Here's my question, is there ever a time when the child should be held accountable for his/her own actions?

If a child knows the rules, and is repeatedly reminded of (taught) the rules, and then choses to break the rules of his or her own accord, how is that the parents fault?

For example:
A four year old girl is jumping on her bed. Mommy comes in, takes her off the bed, and says "honey, if you jump on the bed you might fall and hurt yourself or the bed. Let's play with your Barbies instead." She hands her the Barbies, watches for a second, then leaves the room to do a chore while the child is playing in her own room. A few seconds later, the mom hears a thump and a wail - the girl was jumping on the bed and fell off.

So whose fault was that? The mother's or the child's?

Answer Question

Asked by jennijune_21 at 10:01 AM on Apr. 14, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 4 (56 Credits)
Answers (63)
  • It was the childs.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:03 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • if a child is not held accountable to even a small degree when they are young, they won't know that responsibility when they are older (spoiled brat syndrome)

    my 3 year old KNOWS when he's done something he knows he's not supposed to. so does my 2 year old. So YES I can hold them accountable for those actions. If I have taught them right as a parent, they can be held accountable.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:03 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Both, because the mom wasn't firm enough and the child for not listening. When my kids did stuff like that and got hurt because they chose not to listen, too bad so sad, I told them that was going to be the consequence. My kids have always been held accountable for their actions. But hub and I are pretty firm parents.

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 10:04 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • The childs. But at that point, the child has received a natural consequence. The fall hurt. So, why punish her at that point? It's unnecessary.

    Answer by kara_g. at 10:05 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • I would say the child. I have seen a lot of moms say it's all about supervision yada yada, but most mom's know that they WILL take the oppurtunity to wash the dishes of their child is occupied. We cant stare at them all day, nothing would EVER get done. Some things CAN be the parents fault though, but in this situation i would say the child learned her own lesson the hard way.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 10:05 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • the child. mom went in told her not to, told her WHY she shouldnt (which i think is a big factor when you tell a child not to do something, if you explain they understand why and can see the consequences in their head). and the child still did it, after the age of about 1 kids can start being held accountable for certain things. knowing they aren't supposed to do something and doing it anyways is one of those things. now if mom or dad don't teach them its mom and dads fault

    Answer by vabchmommy at 10:05 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • kara q.- Punishment happens in life, children should be taught that there aren't consequences.

    lets say I drive like crazy, wreck my car, injure myself. By your logic, I've punished myself but by real world logic, I will get a ticket, lose my liscense, etc.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:07 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • the childs, i tell my son stuff like that all the time like running around the house im like you are going to fall and get hurt. i turn my back and he is back to running around again. and when he falls and gets hurt i just tell him see i told you to stop its not my fault you didnt listen so dont do it again. and if its nothing serious like he doesnt get hurt it just scares him i dont comfort him so he knows that he didnt listen to me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:09 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • the scenario told the child what not to do, why she should not do it, and gave her an alternative activity. She decided to be disobedient, she got hurt, now she knows her mother was telling the truth.

    there is a big difference between that and what other parents with "unruly" children do.

    Answer by BoobooHealer at 10:10 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • My kids are always held accountable for their actions. In the instance of falling of the bed, I would say "I told you so" cuddle him for a minute til he feels better then explain it to him again.

    Answer by ZaTa at 10:10 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

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