Model Accountability

How often do you feel you are being punished more than your child when it comes to giving consequences?  Often, rude and disruptive behavior escalates after consequences are given and you might ask yourself if it was worth. In The Total Transformation Program, the originators of the program, Janet and James Lehman, leaders in the field of parenting children with oppositional and defiant behavior, underscore the importance of all children needing to learn to be accountable for their actions no matter what age.  I so agree with this idea because as a teacher I often have to deal with oppositionally defiant kids who blame everyone but themselves for their failures.

Some students refuse to listen, turning their hearing off, so to speak, and looking at you blankly as if you weren’t there.  This is a way to gain control, because they feel they are disempowered and this technique seems to work for them if you fall into that trap.  The Lehmans state that it is up to you (the parents) to create a climate of accountability in the home and in the community with your child.

It is my experience that some parents try to justify the inappropriate behavior of their child, and tend to blame it on the child’s friends or teachers as being a bad influence.  Based on working with scores of parents, I am of the opinion that some parents use ineffective strategies to teach their child, and when they don’t work, they look for someone else to blame for their failures.  I believe a number of parents “look the other way” when a child is behaving disgracefully, or is abusive and disrespectful to them or others.  There are times when parents may under-react to a child’s weaknesses by refusing to recognize them.  Modeling accountability by admitting when you are wrong, is certainly one way to teach your child this important lesson.


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