Why do kids blame others for their own mistakes? Don't they know that blaming brings trouble? Look inside to find out the benefits of blaming and what you can do to build character.
Why Kids Blame:
Blaming is a smoke screen. Sooner or later the smoke dies down and the blamer is caught. Most kids live in the moment. They don't think about smoke screens. They think blaming will save them from:
1. Trouble because to them trouble is a disaster.
2. Punishment because they think punishment is unbearable.
3. Distrust because they hope they'll be believed and the problem will end.
Parents, you know your child can only blame so much before trouble appears. Trust, like smoke, disappears. He becomes a “Billy the Blamer.” His reputation turns to ashes. And everybody will say, “Don't trust Billy.”
How the Power of Stories with Discussion Questions Help Blamers:
Use the power of stories. Read, ask questions, and discuss stories that promote honesty. In the story of “Billy the Blamer”, Billy yelled, “Look what you did you stupid kid!” When his mother ran to the kitchen, he shouted, “It's not my fault, Brian did it!”
In the act of grabbing his book bag, Billy tipped over his milk and soaked his pants. Since he had to change his clothes, he knew it would make his mother mad and late for work.
1. Why did Billy blame Brian?
2. What's better, getting out of trouble or admitting a mistake?
3.What advice would you give Billy?
Discussion stories give kids a chance to share their thoughts and give their advice. It makes them feel important. You'll hear what they think straight from their lips. You'll be able to shape their thinking too.
Discuss George Washington's Story with Your Kids: Remember the tale about 4-year-old George Washington? His father called out, “Who cut down my cherry tree?” Little George could have blamed other kids but instead answered, “I cannot tell a lie. Father, I did it.” George Washington will always be remembered for his honesty.
Ask Questions Like:
1. Do you think George knew he could be punished?
2. Why do you think he told the truth? (If your child says, “I don't know,” ask her to guess.)
3. Is it better to tell the truth than tell a lie? Why?
Discuss This Situation with Your Child:
Your friend, John, doesn't eat the orange his mother puts in his lunch, but throws it away. When his Mom asks him whether he ate his orange, he says, “Jessica wanted it, so I gave it to her.” Sometimes he says, “Someone stole it.”
Ask Questions Like:
1. Is lying to get out of trouble a good idea? Why?
2. What could John have done instead?
3. What advice would you give John?
4. If John followed your advice, how would his life be better?
Conclusion ~ What Parents Can Do about Blaming
Getting your child to think right about wrong is your goal. Ask questions that encourage thinking. When your child is tempted to get out of trouble say, “Remember George Washington?” or some other character from stories you've discussed. Why? Lectures irritate while stories motivate. Motivate your child to act right with discussion stories.
One more thing, everyone loves stories. A good story sticks with kids. It helps them avoid the smoke screen of blaming even when they fear getting in trouble. Good stories build character too. Use them today.
Jean Tracy, MSS, invites you to your free instant access to 80 Fun Activities to share with your kids at http://www.KidsDiscuss.com
For more stories like Billy the Blamer go to Back Talk Street at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/parent_resource_center.asp?pr_id=kd001 for 15 ways to promote character and family love.