Dodging your Child’s Excuses

The truth is, most kids make excuses for their behavior.  This is normal, and something that a lot of adults do as well.  Maybe your child always has a reason why he did (or didn’t do) something. But remember, if your child doesn’t feel as if anything is his fault and blames everyone else, then he doesn’t ever have to take on the responsibility of changing his behavior.

For parents, constant excuses can be downright infuriating.  We have here a 3-step process that shows how you can handle this behavior:


1. Name it.  In order to best handle this behavior, it’s going to be most effective if you directly state what it is that your child is doing.  Let me give an example of how this might be used. Say your son starts playing video games every day after school instead of doing homework.  You set up a homework structure with him where he can earn video game time after his homework is complete.   He still keeps playing video games with his friends instead of doing his homework, saying something like, “Well, I always play with Tommy, and he can’t play later, and if I wait until I’m done with my homework, I’m not going to have anyone to play with.” Instead of lecturing him for the 100th time about the importance of doing well in school, try saying: “It sounds like you’re blaming Tommy for you choosing not to follow the rule around homework.”

2. Restate the rule or the expectation.  Again, you’re going to be most effective if you do not give your child a lecture; rather, simply state what your house rule is around the behavior you are seeing.  Using the above example, you might say, “The rule is, you get to play video games after your homework is done.”


3. Problem solve with your child about next time.  When everyone is calm, we recommend having a problem-solving conversation with your child about what he or she will do differently to follow the rule next time.  Remember, it’s more effective to focus on how your child is going to take responsibility rather than argue about whose fault it is, or isn’t.  The parent in this example might say “Blaming others isn’t going to fix this for you.  What are you going to do differently tomorrow to make sure you are following the rules around video games and homework?”

Keep in mind, making excuses just means that your child is human, not that he’s a bad kid or that she’s never going to be able to be responsible.  Using these tips can help develop that sense of accountability for his or her actions.

 

Imitating Grown-Ups

It is true what they say that children learn best by observing the behavior of adults. While children will always have their own personality and emotions, they are constantly influenced by their environment. To ensure you provide them with the best start, it pays to consider how your own behaviors affect theirs.

Parents set examples for their children. Not only do kids look to their parents to learn the appropriate reactions in dire situations, but they also tend to absorb the energy and personality of their sole providers. If you exude negativity in stressful or worrisome instances, your behavior is bound to influence your child. In today’s blog we will be taking a deeper look at how common parenting traits affect the well-being and emotional growth of children.

From their very first day after they are born, children need to be nurtured and protected by their parents. When communication other than eye contact is impossible, observation is the only way infants learn and adapt to their surroundings. When a small baby is rocked and held, feelings of happiness and love are present. When a baby is left to cry and panic, his anxiety and fear peaks to an ultimate high. During these moments, babies look to their parents to provide the calming and soothing environment they require. For this reason, many parents consider attachment parenting techniques. As babies grow and mature, young children learn best by observing behavior of adults in the home.

Effort and Commitment

Do you want to be his role model? Teach him that anything is possible with commitment and effort. It’s wonderful to set family or personal goals and demonstrate how to reach them. If you want to change the family eating habits, sit down and draw up the goals with your children. Go over healthy living choices and make commitments. Kids love challenges, and seeing their parents excel at goals helps them feel confident enough to take their own risks.

Love and Balance

Are you a lover? A nurturer? Do you have a caring heart? These traits are always absorbed by children, so make sure you extend compassion and love liberally in the family home. Teach kids the importance of caring for animals and donating to worthy causes. When kids are raised with a compassionate heart, they are more likely to grow up with confidence and respect for others.

Arguing

Most parents and spouses have had the occasional spat in front of their kids without considering how their kids may perceive the argument. Tension in family homes makes everyone uncomfortable, including teenagers and newborn babies. While arguing is natural and at times unavoidable, you should always make sure you kiss and make up with your partner in front of your children to ensure their feelings of safety and peace. Since children learn best by observing behavior of adults, if you are constantly arguing with your partner, chances are your children will bring these negative traits into their own relationships. If arguments in the home escalate to a physical form such as domestic or child abuse, it’s crucial you remove yourself and your child from the home and seek a healthy living arrangement. If you are the abuser, recognize your tendencies and seek immediate help or surrender child custody.

 

Money Management

Money management is another important trait that affects children. No matter your income level, parents should avoid phrases such as “we can’t afford it,” or “we’re broke.” Money makes every child feel secure and ensures that basic needs will be met. If you can’t afford an expensive toy or his favorite box of cereal, rephrase your comment along the lines of “Sorry, it’s not in the budget this week. We save money so we have money when we need it.” Parents who teach kids the value of a dollar are more likely to raise children with healthy work and financial ethics.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

If you have an alcohol or drug dependency, it is crucial you seek treatment as soon as possible. Children are influenced by drugs in the family home, and substance abuse carries many risks. Children of parents who were drug or alcohol abusers are always more likely to succumb to the addiction. If you are unable to treat your condition while maintaining child custody, seek the help of family members for support and guidance.

It is always crucial that we learn how to act appropriately in front of children. There will always be times when we forget to do so, however, effort needs to be exerted so as to provide them a strong foundation that they can always rely on as they grow up. After all, we are looking after their best interests.

**Thank you Love To Know for working hand in hand with us when it comes to parenting ♥