Jump to content
Lou-bags

Helping 6yo learn to take responsiblity

Recommended Posts

Lou-bags

As the title suggests, my 6 year old son is having trouble taking responsibility for his own actions.

 

When he messes up, hurts his little brother, gets very upset and throws something etc it's never his fault.

 

"you made me throw that by making me angry!"

"it's his fault because he took my truck!"

 

He blames others even when they weren't in the room.

 

He also has trouble accepting things others do are accidental. As an example, he refused to concede his brother rode into his foot with his scooter by accident. Or when I bumped into him and nearly knocked him over because I couldn't see him over the box I was carrying. Etc.

 

He will lie too, denying he made that mess/pinched his brother/and so on.

 

And his reactions to all of the above are rather explosive at times. Exacerbated by tiredness, too much youtube (I know...), maybe even diet.

 

But in addition to working on the aforementioned exacerbations, do you kind EB'ers have any suggestions and/or resources for teaching him to take responsibility for his actions and behaviour please? I feel like I am failing here.

 

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AmazonBabe

Do a course called Parent Effectiveness Training. It's all about making your children understand and take responsibility for their own behaviour and how it impacts on other people.

 

I did it when my kids were 4 and 2. Used it for about 2 years, they totally understood what was going on after about three weeks, and eventually came around.

 

I now use it most successfully on my ex husband.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rowenas necklace

The course AmazonBabe mentioned sounds fantastic!

 

As a supplement to that, I found How to Talk so Little Kids Listen to be really helpful when it comes to having conversations with DD and helping her understand things.

 

That or the older version (how to talk so kids listen) may also be helpful.

 

I now use it most successfully on my ex husband.

 

Just the other day I was saying to DH that I used to use toddler techniques on rude customers when I worked in customer service. Amazing how some people never grow out of that phase!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lou-bags

Thanks PPs. I have 'how to talk so little kids will listen' and spruik it often so it's obviously time for me to do a re-read (listen- actually- as I have the audiobook version) of relevant chapters.

 

And I'll look up that course now too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Treasure Island

He also has trouble accepting things others do are accidental. As an example, he refused to concede his brother rode into his foot with his scooter by accident. Or when I bumped into him and nearly knocked him over because I couldn't see him over the box I was carrying. Etc.

 

 

I'm with your son on those, carelessness isn't an accident. He might learn better if you lead by example.

Edited by Treasure Island

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lou-bags

I'm with your son on those, carelessness isn't an accident. He might learn better if you lead by example.

 

What do you mean by this?

 

There is a world of difference, in my mind, between hurting someone accidentally (even where the accident occured as the result of carelessness) and deliberately hurting someone.

 

In the scooter incident, for example, my 6yo stepped out from behind an object and into the 3yo's path. You could argue both were being careless. The 6yo screamed at the 3yo and went to push him. I blocked that, stating that the crash was an accident. 6yo screamed at me that the 3yo did it on purpose, which he very clearly did not.

 

edited to insert a missing word.

Edited by Lou-bags
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22Fruitmincepies

Ive been increasing the amount DD chat about the characters in books, how they feel and their motivations, to try and build empathy. Also discussing when I make mistakes, so that it becomes normal to acknowledge mistakes and discuss how to try to not make that mistake again.

 

I also read “the resilience project” recently and now DD and I chat about the good things in our day at bedtime, and I try to point them out during the day too (“it’s so nice having fun at the pool with your friends!”).

 

It’s a work in progress...

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hollycoddle

I'm with your son on those, carelessness isn't an accident. He might learn better if you lead by example.

 

Seriously? Accidents happen! If you don't allow for them you're going to end up raising a malicious vexatious litigant!

Edited by Hollycoddle
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
magic_marker

We talk about choices here.

 

"You made me throw that because you made me angry".

 

He made the choice to throw it. And he is responsible for his own feelings.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Riotproof

There’s a little bit of this going on in my house too, loubags.

 

Following. I’m not really sure how I handle it, plus dd is the older than your little ds, so it may not apply. I have been doing a lot of separating them and quiet time Iike they are toddlers. I don’t really want to call it timeout because I hate that philosophy, but I do want to teach them that they can walk away to collect themselves instead of hurting someone.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DQMission

 

 

I'm with your son on those, carelessness isn't an accident. He might learn better if you lead by example.

 

Someone's bored.

 

OP I think the issue is one that they either grow out of or it is part of their personality and they need help to see beyond it. My older child still is unable to separate provocation from choice of reaction. I think his autism sometimes impacts on his ability to gain an objective perspective on things that happen to upset him. Not always, but he is definitely more rigid in his thinking when someone has wronged him or he has done wrong.

 

I would probably minimise any fuss around negative incidents, while adding a comment to reframe things. "Brother ran over your toe? Oh no! That must hurt! I bet your brother feels bad about accidentally hurting you. Brother, come give him a hug and tell him you are sorry for the accident" that kind of thing.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AllyK81

My DS is like this (almost to the point of hilarity sometimes). He blames his sister for things when she isn’t even in the room.

 

Problem is his father is exactly the same. It is being role modelled to him (obviously to a much lesser extent) by my husband so my husband is working on that.

 

We have implemented chore charts this year that also have a behaviour for each child we want to focus on as a milestone. Only 2 weeks in but it is working well for both kids. DS understands what taking responsibility means. We are teaching him to choose a better response.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lou-bags

Thank you all for your posts, you have given me lots to think about. And sorry that you find yourself similarly somewhat stumped Riotproof!

 

 

 

rigid in his thinking when someone has wronged him or he has done wrong.

 

This has just reminded me of a comment made by his daycare teacher when he was 4. I can't remember the exact words she used but it was something to do with having a strong sense of fairness, and that he could be quite rigid about there being appropriate consequences, and that he was also very indignant when given consequences for something he perceived to not be his fault.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ellie bean

 

 

What do you mean by this?

 

There is a world of difference, in my mind, between hurting someone accidentally (even where the accident occured as the result of carelessness) and deliberately hurting someone.

 

In the scooter incident, for example, my 6yo stepped out from behind an object and into the 3yo's path. You could argue both were being careless. The 6yo screamed at the 3yo and went to push him. I blocked that, stating that the crash was an accident. 6yo screamed at me that the 3yo did it on purpose, which he very clearly did not.

 

edited to insert a missing word.

In that scenario I still make the 3yo say sorry- I teach both kids we say sorry if we hurt someone even if it’s an accident

I also say we ever hit or push regardless of whether it’s an accident or not. If it’s not an accident, call mum or sad to decide what should be done- it’s not your job to punish your sibling. Etc.

But yeah while that works a lot of the time I do still have a bit of “he/she hurt me”, “it was an accident “, “it was NOT!”, then both of them screaming, at my house so I feel your pain! It’s usually when they’re tired and not listening that it blows up

One thing I would say is make the 3yo accountable too (or at least show the 6yo you are trying to), as kids really feel that injustice and don’t understand the age difference. Easy for me to say though because my 2 are very close in age

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Riotproof

I don’t agree with forcing apologies, but I do think in that scenario they both could apologise to the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ellie bean

There’s a little bit of this going on in my house too, loubags.

 

Following. I’m not really sure how I handle it, plus dd is the older than your little ds, so it may not apply. I have been doing a lot of separating them and quiet time Iike they are toddlers. I don’t really want to call it timeout because I hate that philosophy, but I do want to teach them that they can walk away to collect themselves instead of hurting someone.

Yeah we do that too.

Our other rule is you can cry and scream as much as you like but not in the lounge room, do it in your own quarters where no one has to listen to it lol

Going to your room is not a punishment but there are rules to be observed in the areas we share, is what I aim for I guess

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lynken

We talk about choices here.

 

"You made me throw that because you made me angry".

 

He made the choice to throw it. And he is responsible for his own feelings.

 

We did similar to this with DS around 3-4yrs (now 8yrs). It's ok to feel negative feelings (hurt, mad, sad, jealous, disappointed etc) but what you do with the feelings is your choice. If you're mad and you hit, you get a consequence for hitting not for being mad.

 

We had to give him words to use, like "I'm feeling X and I need .... to go to my room / a cuddle / a drink / to be alone". Those were good choices he could make in the moment of "feeling the feelings". We had to lead him there in the beginning - "you feel sad when sister gets to X and you don't. Do you want a cuddle?"

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lou-bags

 

One thing I would say is make the 3yo accountable too (or at least show the 6yo you are trying to), as kids really feel that injustice and don’t understand the age difference. Easy for me to say though because my 2 are very close in age

 

Oh yes I absolutely do this.

 

Perhaps I should have said that in my OP. I was thinking about DS1 and his behaviour here so it didn't think to. It's actually WAY easier with the 3yo- he's not the one that worries me (at the moment... *crosses fingers*).

 

 

In the scooter scenario DS1 was trying to push/hit his brother and screaming at him, and then me, before I could even get to that. And I did speak to them both afterward. My concern is that even in the afterward, when things have settled somewhat, DS1 STILL wouldn't concede that DS2 hadn't deliberately taken aim and rode into his foot on purpose. He even went so far as to then say that his friend who was visiting had told DS2 to do it. A complete fabrication, as we were right there and he said nothing of the sort.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DQMission

 

 

 

We had to give him words to use, like "I'm feeling X and I need .... to go to my room / a cuddle / a drink / to be alone". Those were good choices he could make in the moment of "feeling the feelings". We had to lead him there in the beginning - "you feel sad when sister gets to X and you don't. Do you want a cuddle?"

 

I reckon this is really valuable. As a child who was never able to identify feelings or their cause, this would have helped me learn to self regulate before I had kids of my own and perpetuated the cycle.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lou-bags

We had to give him words to use, like "I'm feeling X and I need .... to go to my room / a cuddle / a drink / to be alone". Those were good choices he could make in the moment of "feeling the feelings".

 

I like this approach, thanks.

 

He has had, from quite young, a good vocab of 'feeling' words and can identify if he feels mad or sad or frustrated or disappointed etc. (Just the other day he told me "I'm so mad I feel like a shark getting ready to bite someone!" which made me smile despite my best efforts. Bad idea.) But I hadn't thought to coach him that bit further toward ways he can appropriately respond.

Edited by Lou-bags

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SplashingRainbows

Thank you all for your posts, you have given me lots to think about. And sorry that you find yourself similarly somewhat stumped Riotproof!

 

 

 

 

 

This has just reminded me of a comment made by his daycare teacher when he was 4. I can't remember the exact words she used but it was something to do with having a strong sense of fairness, and that he could be quite rigid about there being appropriate consequences, and that he was also very indignant when given consequences for something he perceived to not be his fault.

 

Oh I’ve got one like this. Thankfully the other one is pretty easy going.

 

Acknowledging his feelings does seem to work best in gaining buy in. He is 9 now and certainly improving.

 

I take heart that some of my most wonderful kind and empathetic staff also recall being similar as kids. They have a strong perfectionist streak which is an asset to our career and part of our personality.

 

I’m hoping loving him and modeling grace will get us somewhere.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Murderino

Yeah we do that too.

Our other rule is you can cry and scream as much as you like but not in the lounge room, do it in your own quarters where no one has to listen to it lol

Going to your room is not a punishment but there are rules to be observed in the areas we share, is what I aim for I guess

 

I’m the same with my youngest who is a screecher - I say you can cry but you can’t scream when we have to hear it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
StartledFlamingo

We recently did the Starving the Anger Gremlin workbook with my 7 yo. It was really good and has helped him think about anger being internal not external, shifting the blame mentality and some tools to change the reactions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GingerbreadWoman

.

Edited by GingerbreadWoman
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...