Are you making excuses for your child’s bad behavior? If you are, your children will grow up to make excuses for their behavior too. If excuses are good enough for you it will be good enough for them. Children earn by what they hear as well as what they see, so if you as a parent who is constantly making excuses for their bad behavior they will never accept responsibility for their behavior. They know they won’t be held accountable for what they say or do. They listen and watch you blame the teacher, principal, doctor and eventually the police, lawyer, judge, or probation officer. It’s always somebody else’s fault. They may get a scolding occasionally, but they know the scolding won’t last long because you will go right back to blaming something or someone.
Along with bad behavior, you can probably find disrespect and a refusal to obey authority. They don’t respect authority because they have no respect for you and the rules that you establish in your home. Everything you do is taken for granted, and they believe they are entitled rather than earned what is given to them.
When I was raising my daughter, I had a conversation with her once on following rules. She understood that they were to be followed or their would be consequences. That was it, I refused to repeat myself over and over. She had to learn that if she couldn’t follow rules or instructions, she was going to have a difficult life. It wasn’t always an easy journey, raising kids is never easy. However, when I told her to step she stepped. She may have stepped with her arms crossed, mouth poked out or rolling her eyes, but she moved and she did what I asked her to do. I made it clear that she was to follow the same rules with teachers, police, elders and anyone else in an authority position. There was to be no arguing or talking back. If she felt that she was being mistreated, she was to inform me and I would handle it adult to adult.
Kids need to understand that the world has rules. It all starts at home, and if you’re not willing to teach your children that they must obey and that their bad behavior is unacceptable you’re leading them down a path of destruction. Yes, I said you. As adults if we don’t pay taxes, we’re charged with tax evasion. If we disregard the speed limit we get a ticket. If we don’t pay our bills timely, we get a bad credit rating. Children grow up to be adults and they will take the same excuses for their behavior into adulthood.
Here’s some of the consequences that your child will suffer if excuses for bad behavior are allowed to continue:
- Your child will be socially inept. They will be unable to fit into society or they will be uncomfortable in social settings.
- They will probably end up being violent and aggressive because they don’t know how to deal with their emotions.
- Their decision make skills will be limited and probably very poor.
- They will grow up thinking that the rules don’t apply to them.
- They will refuse to respect authority figures such as cops, teachers, the principal or their elders.
- They will lack the ability to complete tasks or hold down a job.
- They will expect you to continue making excuses and bailing them out of problems.
- They will cost you thousands of dollars for lawyers, counseling, mental health consultations, living expense etc.
- They will be unsuccessful in school and will most likely not graduate from high school let alone college.
This list is not all inclusive, but it should be an eye opener. You can’t wait until your child reaches their teens and than try to establish rules. It needs to start early, so they will understand appropriate behavior when they reach their teens, before entering society socially, getting a job, or doing volunteer work etc.
It is imperative that you stop making excuses and start working to change your child’s bad behavior. If you don’t know where to start, contact your church, school or a local counseling office. It’s never too late to get the help needed so you can change your excuses into effective parenting and your child’s bad behavior in to productive and healthy behavior.