7 Reasons to Stop Blaming Parents for a Child's Misbehavior ...


Whether you're a parent or not, I'm sure you've heard it said that a child's misbehavior is a result of bad parenting. While this may be true for some rare cases involving abuse or neglect, the majority of bad behavior seen in young children, all the way up through teens and beyond, is solely the choice of the child's. As a culture we need to stop blaming parents for the actions of their kids when they are simply doing their best at raising healthy children! As a parent of a toddler myself, and as some of you readers can relate to, it's hard to hear people falsely accuse you of bad parenting relating to a child's misbehavior. Keep reading for some amazing reasons why we need to stop blaming parents and instead shift our thinking!

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Stop Blame Shifting

As mentioned in the introduction, needing to place blame is the most common reason why we as a culture accuse parents for a child's misbehavior. How often have you seen a child throw a tantrum in a grocery store or react badly in a restaurant with loud words, and refuse to listen to mom and dad? I can admit to being judgmental in those situations even though my own child has acted the very same way! Children are figuring things out in life and make mistakes just as adults do. They also don't have the same level of mental capabilities as adults and thus feel overly emotional at times when they don't get their way. There needs to be a level of sympathy for parents who are just trying to navigate their child's behavior with appropriate responses, especially in a public setting!


In addition to blame shifting being a common reaction to a child's misbehavior, studies have shown that societal pressure and unrealistic expectations also contribute to this phenomenon. Parents are bombarded with conflicting advice and standards of parenting, making it difficult to know what is truly best for their child. Furthermore, factors such as a child's temperament, family dynamics, and external influences also play a role in their behavior. It's important to recognize that parents are doing their best and should not be judged or blamed for their child's actions. Instead, we should offer support and understanding to help them navigate the challenges of parenting.


Focus on the Child's Behavior

A lot of times in an attempt to resolve situations quickly, it's easy to take the focus off of the behavior and blame it on something else. For example, if a child is tired, she may be disrespectful to her parents and it's easy to blame the behavior on exhaustion rather than focusing on the behavior itself. Teaching children at young age to make excuses for their behavior will inevitably lead to lack of responsibility later in life. If she wakes up one morning and just has a bad day, is it your fault as the parent for her behaviors? Certainly not! Instead, as a parent or even an onlooker, mentally believe that the child has a choice to make to be respectful and kind regardless of how they may feel. Also note that it's just as important to be forgiving as the adult when children make mistakes, especially when they are not at their best physically and emotionally.


It is important to remember that children are responsible for their own behavior, and that parents should not take the blame for it. Parents should model the behavior they want to see in their children, and focus on reinforcing positive behaviors. They should also remember to be patient and understanding, and to provide guidance and support when needed. It is also important to be consistent with discipline, and to make sure that consequences are appropriate for the misbehavior. Finally, parents should not be afraid to reach out for help when needed, as there are many resources available to support them in raising their children.


Balancing Responsibilities

It needs to be understood that ultimately, the child is responsible for his or her own behavior. After all, more often than not the child has seen appropriate behavior played out in front of them time after time and knows deep down right from wrong. As a parent, you need to accept responsibility in modeling appropriate behavior and acknowledging your faults to him, as well as enforcing the child's responsibility for said behavior and as a growing human.


Balancing responsibilities between parents and children is crucial for a healthy and well-adjusted family dynamic. While parents play a significant role in modeling appropriate behavior and teaching their children right from wrong, it is ultimately the child's responsibility to choose their actions. According to research, children are more likely to exhibit positive behavior when their parents are consistent in enforcing consequences for their actions. It is also important for parents to acknowledge their own faults and take responsibility for their behavior, as this sets a good example for their children. Ultimately, a balance of responsibility between parents and children is essential for promoting positive behavior and healthy relationships within the family.


Release Control as a Parent by Focusing on the Bigger Picture

If you blame yourself or blame other parents for their child's behavior, it prevents the child from seeing his life and growth as his own. It can possibly stunt his ability to know the difference between right and wrong, what decisions help him and what will harm him, and what things interest him according to his personality. Release control as a parent and onlooker by not blaming anyone, but instead reinforce what good behavior should look like and how bad behavior produces negative results.


Stress Accountability Even at a Young Age

When children are very young in their toddler years, it's more understandable to have greater patience and understanding because they are discovering new things and growing daily. However, a child's age is not a reason to neglect stressing personal accountability because it reinforces blaming others. If you blame others, yourself or other things now for your child's behavior, what will that look like down the road into her teens and adulthood? Instead, empathize with your child by saying that you understand she is tired and hungry, but that's no excuse to hit others and be mean. Encourage her to use words and that she is smart in expressing her needs. Positive reinforcement of good behavior works way better than yelling or blaming ever will.


Realize Each Child is Different

It's also really important to realize that each child is different and is wired to have different personality traits, interests, talents and even struggles. No two adults are the same, therefore no two children will have the same reactions in situations. Celebrate unique personalities of children by encouraging healthy expressions of their behavior. For example, my son is almost 3, is extremely active and needs constant activity to be happy and obedient. He swims, runs, plays age appropriate sports and takes a music class. Knowing what your child needs to be successful will help with bad behavior issues.


Accept Imperfections

Lastly, instead of blaming parents and circumstances for bad behavior, acknowledge that we are all human, including the tiny ones, which means we all make mistakes. Accepting our mistakes and knowing that each day is new and brings new opportunities will give you life, truly. Forgiveness is the healing element of blame shifting and guilt. Forgive yourself, accept your faults and move to change the areas in your life that need changing- slowly and day by day. Remember to verbally express your apologies to your child and ask for forgiveness when you mess up. This will teach them to do the same and to grow in humility and to take responsibility as adults!

I hope these reasons to stop blaming parents shed some light on your own thinking as either a parent or onlooker of parents and children. Just know that most parents do their best at raising healthy children and most days it seems like an experiment with what works best according to individual needs! Do any of you ladies care to share your own experiences?

Sources: m.empoweringparents.com

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I think she's just trying to blame somebody else for bad Parenting ! I'm sorry , but I see that most the times is the parents fault !!!!!

You are right parents are not to be blamed for the moral decadence of their children.

I have been a teacher for 5 years now and I can tell you it's all about the parents. I've had some difficult children in my class but there is a big difference between the ones that's have a set of rules and that are the product of good parents and there are some that you can see the exact attitude in a parent and in their kids. Kids see, kids learn. We are all the reflect of our parent doing

This is so untrue. A young child mimics behaviour seen. Under 6 a child behaves similarly to their parents. For example if dad calls mom a name when she drops something , the child may to another child if the child sees another drop something. Maybe if parents knew how to react to tempers and moods than there would be no scene made. I studied child development. It shows parents are the most important people and much of what makes up children's development.


I'm an early childhood educator and we literally spend the whole program talking about this! Yes some children have challenging behaviors or developmental delays or a disability. But parents need to take responsibility for their children's behavior because (as many others have said too) parents are children's role models and almost all of their actions are learned. I don't think this author used SCHOLARLY, researched and professional sources because anyone in the field of working with children should know better.

#3 how can I start the debate


this is bunk! yes every child will test boundaries and children will play up the best of parents but consistent bad behaviour can almost always be traced back to poor parenting. maybe its not neglect or abuse but spoiling, allowing the child to dictate, not setting clear rules and manners. the only exceptions are where there is something wrong with the child and by that I mean psychopaths and sociopaths some of whom it can be seen have something physically 'missing' and no amount of training can help. other than that children are products of their upbringing. I am watching my affectionate sweet natured nephew turn into a screaming spoiled brat because he is being brought up by grandparents who won't hear him cry and indulge his every demand. he's not bad in himself. he's just learning that screaming and hitting gets his own way.

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