We send a wrong message to our kids when we make excuses or blame others for our kids’ bad behavior.
I’m told of a mother whose 12-year-old child (fictitious name, Plato) was being bullied on the playground at recess. The teachers did the right thing by causing the bully (fictitious name, Hector) to stay in after school detention. Good first start since Hector’s mother was inconvenienced by having to pick up Hector from school rather than have him ride the bus home.
It isn’t known whether or not Hector faced additional consequences at home for having bullied another child. What is known is that Plato’s mother (not getting an expected call of apology from Hector’s mom), called the mom to reach an agreement that this type of behavior must stop. Something she would hope a mother would do for her if the shoe were on the other foot.
Fully expecting Hector’s mom to discuss possible solutions for what her son had done to Plato, you can imagine how stunned Plato’s mom was to hear the voice on the other end accusing her of her son Plato’s deserving of being bullied since, according to Hector’s mom, Plato was being a bully to her son on other occasions.
This is a classic case of defensive parenting. When parents become defensive by blaming or accusing others for their kids’ bad behavior, that same bad behavior is traced back to the parent. It is a reflection of a parent who was bullied as a child, most likely by his/her own parents.
I recently read staggering statistics that most children who are bullies or cheaters during their school years, grow into bullying/cheating adults as Parents, CEO’s, Teachers, Politicians, etc.
Imagine Hector, as an adult, in a position of influence over your child, all because his mom/dad didn’t face up to-nor have the courage-to teach him in his early years that making excuses or blaming others become a characteristic flaw forever.