I’m back up on my soapbox, Home Eccers! Someone stop me! Or not, since my rants are (hopefully) your entertainment. Today’s issue: the “It’s not my fault” syndrome. Oh, Home Eccers. How this one bugs me to death.
My 14 year old is going to kill me for posting about this, but he’s the poster boy for this, although I have certainly seen it from many other people. A couple of weeks ago, he lost his backpack which had his music and drill in it for band. He had actually left it on the band field less than a week before this happened, but someone found it and gave it back to him. Then he lost it again, this time for good.
His claim: he left it in my car. My claim: he took it to a friend’s house and lost it there. Now, if he had left it in my car, then apparently someone broke into my car, overlooked my stereo and all the CDs in my car, the money in the center console, and anything else valuable. But they stole his backpack and nothing else. And left no evidence of a break-in, those crafty thieves. Um. Yeah. Right.
No matter what happened to it, he lost it and he’s responsible for replacing it and the items in it. Every time this is brought up, I hear how unfair this is since it’s not his fault. I remind him that it is, indeed, his fault since he’s responsible for keeping track of his own stuff. And round and round it goes.
But it’s not just my kid, like I said. My mom’s a teacher and she constantly hears tales of woe of how it’s not the kid’s fault that their homework wasn’t finished, or their book was lost or destroyed or they didn’t take paper and pencil to class. I see it on the internet- this morning’s example came from LiveJournal where someone was lamenting that their mother was angry at them for not doing housework. But, it’s not their fault! Doing housework makes this person feel like a slave!
Parents: we need to teach our kids responsibility and owning up to their own responsibility when they mess up. We can start by always admitting fault when something IS our fault. Yes, kids, dinner is burnt and we have to eat ham sandwiches. It’s my fault. Yep, I failed to wash your favorite shirt. Sorry, my fault.
And we have to let them suffer the consequences of their own failings. How many times have we rescued a kid when they told us that there’s a school project due TOMORROW MORNING and it’s 9:38 PM? Stop rescuing. Let them fail. It won’t kill them now, but it certainly might teach them a lesson about responsibility.
Tell me, Home Eccers. What do you do to teach your kids responsibility?