Why Do Kids Blame Others?

She made me do it.

He's bothering me!

Mooom! She did it AGAIN!

Sound familiar? Maybe a little too familiar?
If your children are comfortable playing the blame game, then it might feel like you're always micro-managing conflicts but your kids are never able to reach solutions on their own.

If your kids blame you or blame each other, then this episode of TEACHable Moments is for you!

We're going to take a closer look at:

What's the deal with all this denial of responsibility?

We want our kids to learn not only to manage their behaviors, but also to be mindful of when they are hurtful and when their behaviors are co-creating conflict with others. 

But how do we do that without assigning judgments and insisting on forced apologies?

Is it possible to get kids to be self-aware and conscious of their impact on others without blame?


The fact is, blame is an easy trap to fall into, and we can be unconscious of it hiding in our attitude, language, and tone.

I JUST asked you not to touch that!

You are the big sister. If you would just let her play, she wouldn't cry.

Great! NOW, you have made me late!

These are all valid challenges but when we feel threatened, unsure, or afraid - we usually resort to shutting down our connection with others and using blame to protect our position. 

Feeling victimized - we may use blame to assert our right to be recognized, respected or heard, but using moral judgments to declare someone else at fault is just not an effective way to lead a person to consider how their actions have impacted us.

If you want your kids to take responsibility - if you want them to empathize with others - then you have to allow them the space to be vulnerable

When we shut down our hearts, then we close off our ability to be vulnerable and our self-reflection becomes too shameful to bear.

We start operating from a base level of fear.

Let's NOT do that anymore! Click below for my 5 tips for banishing the blame game

Removing blame doesn't mean coddling children who act poorly, but it means actively creating change by setting the stage for self-reflection.

Don't be in such a rush to fix everything. 

Your GOALS are to:
  1. ease the negative tension
  2. soothe the hurt 
  3. decipher the root causes of behavior
 - so your kids feel heard and understood.

This will increase their sense of personal responsibility.

This week's clip had some extras which were too long to include, but too good to not include a bonus clip!

So enjoy this TEACHable Moment EXTRA and watch as I share a story about a time when I resisted the urge to blame, and instead spent the time reflecting and re-framing with the children as they practiced their own communication skills.

If we can stay out of blame mode - able to differentiate observation from evaluation - we can state what is happening, free of judgment and opinion.

Then our kids learn to differentiate their feeling from their thinking and are more able to identify and express their own internal emotional states in ways which do not imply judgment, criticism, or lead to physical or verbal violence.

So let me ask you: What's your BLAME trigger?
I know one of my blame triggers is feeling pressed for time. If I feel like I am going to be late for something - I start imagining what other people will think or who I am holding up and then it triggers me into blaming the person, thing or animal (Sorry, Sunset) closest to me . 

So how about you?
  Take some time RIGHT NOW to close your eyes and visualize a moment where you lost it and used blame to deal with your discomfort.

Let the feelings flow uncensored and see if you can link it to some unmet need which triggered you into denying responsibility.

Then leave me a note in the comments and share - what sends you into full-blown blame mode! 

Thank you for reading and remember, conscious - not perfect!

Talk soon,

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About Lori

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