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How to Teach Kids to Avoid Blame Games

By Sandy Schroeder

Sometimes situations revolve around blame. If you have been in situations like that, you may have quickly learned to sidestep mistakes. Being accountable and stepping up to deal with issues can simply lead to an endless chain of blame and consequences.

In families where kids live in a climate of blame, they quickly learn how to invent excuses, point the finger at someone else, or keep a low profile to avoid ongoing repercussions. Those families are often tense and angry with trust and support giving way to the ongoing prospect of being blamed for something.

To counter that negative family situation, Marie Hartwell-Walker, EdD, Psychcentral, suggests some skills to teach kids to help them learn how to accept responsibility and live openly with their actions.

Skills to Teach Kids

When you harm someone – Step up to repair the damage, and consider what happened to learn from the mistake and not repeat it. When everyone is open and calm, blame loses a lot of its sting, and a mistake becomes a teaching tool instead of a weapon.

Worried about being blamed – Try to see how learning from mistakes works and view it as an opportunity rather than a predicament. Gradually, in a calm open atmosphere kids can lose the fear of things always going wrong. If a mistake occurs, they know it will be handled fairly.

Deal openly with mistakes – Whenever you make a mistake do what you can to fix it. When kids operate in a fair atmosphere, they will accept mistakes as part of life to be handled and resolved.

Calmly discuss mistakes – When errors happen, skip the anger and finger pointing and respond calmly if someone wants to attack you. Briefly explain your side of the situation and invite an open discussion. When kids learn to approach mishaps openly, they are a lot less likely to flare up and make sure the blame is established.

Avoid blaming – Even when you know who is guilty, try to avoid calling someone out. Give them the opportunity to step forward and take responsibility. Kids who are not living in a climate of blame tend to treat everyone with more respect.

Do hold others accountable – When kids accept responsibility, they learn to deal with mistakes and move on to problem-solving to avoid future mistakes.

Look ahead – Teach kids to look to the future, refusing to spend time in an endless blame game. If they grow up in a healthy supportive atmosphere where mistakes are accepted as part of life, they will instantly recognize the blame game and reject it.

Making the effort to help our kids reject blame games will allow them become more effective people wherever they go.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Downers Grove, Ill. 

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