Some people believe it is their job to run to their child’s rescue when their child fails or makes a poor choice. Our society fills itself with excuses for bad behaviour and a lack of accountability.
REASONS VERSUS EXCUSES
A “reason” is an explanation for why something is the way it is, with everyone involved taking accountability for their part in a situation. An excuse is an explanation for why something is the way it is, that always involves the blame being put on someone or something that isn’t involved in the conversation, and not able to share their side of the story. What’s the difference? The accountability.
Let me give you some examples.
- I was late for school because my alarm clock didn’t go off.
He punched me first, so I punched him in the face.
I have ADHD. That’s why I behave poorly.
I have a learning disability. That’s why I can’t do it!
I can’t exercise, because I am too busy
The list is endless. There are as many excuses for failure. If a person were to take accountability for their decisions and their actions, those excuses could be seen as the real reasons for failure, and they would look more like this:
- I was late because I forgot to turn on my alarm clock.
I should have had better self-control and not resorted to physical violence.
I struggle with ADHD. I need to develop strategies that will help me improve my self-control.
I need to use my learning disability to my advantage and develop learning strategies that work for me.
I need to get up early so I can exercise 30 minutes before I start work.
You probably notice a trend here. For every excuse that someone can give for failing, there is a real reason that points back to something THEY did or didn’t do.
I’m sharing this information not to make anyone feel bad about their struggles or failure, but to help people realize that they are the only person that controls the destiny.
Accountability. Until you learn to take it, you’ll be doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, everyone does, but only those that admit their responsibility in the mistake learn from it. Those are the people that can keep trying and eventually taste success. Those that only want to blame someone else for their failures are dooming themselves to a life full of them.
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I was speaking with a teacher, who shared with me some of the struggles they face at her school and how parents run to the rescue of their children. They make excuses for their child’s bad behaviour.
BEHAVIOUR – Student was caught smoking in the school bathroom. PARENTAL RESPONSE – Can you prove to me that smoking in school is illegal in Canada?
BEHAVIOUR – Male student called a female student the “C’ word. PARENTAL RESPONSE – It wasn’t the “C” word. It was the “B” word. Parent was bringing the word intensity down to what she thought was acceptable.
BEHAVIOUR – Grade 8 student was bullying fellow students. He was suspended for his behaviour. PARENTAL RESPONSE – The parent expected the principal to apologize to his students and put an apology on the outdoor school sign.
BEHAVIOUR – A camper locks counselors in a shed, uses profanity and physically assaults other campers. PARENTAL RESPONSE – “Your staff don’t know how to handle my son. Other kids must be provoking him. You have a horrible camp!”
There was a situation when a child was brought into the principal’s office with his parents. He was being accused of hurting another child. He admitted it in front of his parent and principal The parent’s response was: “No, he didn’t do it! It must have been the other kid being annoying.” THE KID ADMITTED IT!
Parents may want to play the hero, or they just can’t accept that their child isn’t perfect With some parents, they may feel that their child’s behaviour is a negative reflection on their parenting.
Here’s the Problem
The more kids are rescued and not made accountable, the more likely they will believe they can do anything to anyone without consequences. This learned behaviour will catch up to them when they become adults. The consequences will be job loss, failed marriages, poor relationships, poor self-esteem, and failure.
Parents: If you want to invest in your child’s future, please teach them that their choices all have consequences. Some are good and some, not so much. If they make a bad choice or fail, step up, own it, be accountable, learn something, them move on. You are not doing them any favours by excusing bad behaviour.