The Blame Game: Blaming One Child for Another Child’s mess up
My little boy did something ‘wrong’ and by default, I began to blame his older sister for his actions. You know, if she had not being doing XYZ in front of her little brother, he would not have picked up habit ABC.
However, in the middle of my ranting, I caught myself. True, big sister has to become more ‘responsible’ because her little brother is ‘watching closely’ and ‘learning fast’ from the ‘human’ who is closest in size, to him. However, the little one also has to learn that life is all about choices which come with either repercussions or rewards. Besides, my daughter was not even present at the moment when my son chose to test out habit ‘ABC’, which he supposedly picked up from his sister ‘X’ days ago. So, why was I choosing to expend all my energy blaming ‘her’ rather than correcting ‘him’?
So, reviewing my ‘handling’ of the matter, I think you will agree with me that I probably was not parenting ‘right’. That’s right, children need to learn that they can’t get away by ‘playing’ the Adam and Eve card, wherein Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake for their ‘naughty’ act.
Okay, I right now don’t want you to think that I am saying that my daughter should not be made to understand her role of ‘influence’ as the first born. Far from it. Her ‘position’ is a responsibility which she has to live with and act responsibly towards. However, my son will also need to learn how to take responsibility for the choices he makes in life, starting from right now.
Before going any further, let me tell you a bit about a friend who once told me how she used to get blamed for every wrong which her little sister did. Yes, as the older child, it was always her fault and never her sister’s fault. Now, the danger of this parenting style is that the older child may begin to nurse resentments while the younger child grows into an irresponsible, spoilt brat who always has someone or something to blame for the things which s/he does wrong. Good enough, my friend didn’t give room to resentment. However, her sister on the other hand, has grown up with very little sense of responsibility towards life and living.
So, where am I going with all this? Just as Adam, Eve and the snake got punished accordingly, let each child ‘do the time’ for whatever crime s/he ‘did’. Yes, if at the time child A was naughty, child B was a negative influence, they can both get scolded or punished or what have you for their wrongdoings. However, if you believe that child A was naughty because of what s/he saw child B do in ‘1902’, please first focus on putting child A ‘right because I want to believe that in ‘1902’ you must have already disciplined child B’. Then, you can later call child ‘B’ over for a heart-to-heart, where you help him understand how his actions have huge potentials of influencing the people around him.
Bottom line, please let your children, right from their early years, begin to take responsibility for their actions. There will always be negative influences from their environment and that is why, rather than been swayed by what they see and hear, they must learn to decide to do what is right.
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