Helping Children Take Responsibility – Part 2

During a discipline time, asking your children, "What did you do wrong?" can help them learn to take responsibility for their actions. Sometimes children don't even know what they did wrong. You may have to tell your child, but don't just say it and have your child agree, actually have the child repeat back to you what was wrong and take responsibility for it.

Some children, when asked the question, "What did you do wrong?" will respond, "I didn't do anything wrong" or "I don't know," but they actually do know. In this situation the child is defying the process and trying to skirt the issue. If this is the case, simply have the child sit in a chair for a while until he or she is ready to come and deal with the problem. It's surprising how quickly a child can remember what the offense was when there aren't any alternatives.

Confession is a spiritual issue. God asks us to confess our sins to him and he also tells us to confess our sins to each other. Debriefing as part of the discipline process helps children take responsibility for their actions and learn the valuable skill of confession. It takes humility and courage to admit when you are wrong. Help your children learn to take responsibility for their own part of a problem by asking the question, "What did you do wrong?"

If you'd like to know more about developing a good correction plan for your child, consider joining Biblical Parenting University. Or, learn more about ending discipline times well in our book, Home Improvement, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

What are some ways you've been able to teach your kids to take responsibility for their actions?
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Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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2 comments:

  1. The kids I work with, they usually play the victim when they are in crisis. They would say they are being provoked or the staff yelled at them. I tell them to step back and try to think about their part in the conflict. I try to focus them away from other people doing things to them and thinking about what they do wrong.

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  2. One strategy we try to employ (albeit inconsistently) is to have our children be specific in their apologies. For example, if our 7 year old snatches something from her 3 year old brother, instead of her just saying, "I'm sorry," we have her say, "I'm sorry for snatching the toy," or, "I'm sorry for being rude to you when I snatched the toy." This encourages her to take more specific responsibility for her actions, and sometimes even the character trait behind the action. Her brother also takes responsibility by then saying, "I forgive you."

    For all I know, we may have learned this strategy from one of your books or e-mail tips. :-). You guys are awesome!

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