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7yo blames everyone else for his mistakes(1 Post)
Does anyone have any tips on this? Are we expecting too much?
DS is 7 and recently have noticed a bit of a trend that whenever something goes wrong and he behaves badly, he never considers it his fault. It's always because "somebody was annoying me" or "you were making me frustrated" or "the game is stupid".
We have tried explaining that you can't control your feelings but you can control your reaction. We have given him lots and lots of strategies for dealing with strong feelings. He was very explosive (at home, not at school) between the ages of 3 and 5 but has calmed down a lot since 6. However although he's got much better at using these strategies, as I credit them for the mass downturn in tantrums and explosions over the last two years, he still doesn't seem able to accept when he was wrong about something. To him, it's always the fault of somebody or something else, never him.
We have tried punishing (loss of privileges) for behaviour despite the excuses but we don't think that it's really helping because he doesn't connect the penalty with his misbehaviour, he just seems to think we're being mean or that it's unfair because he "couldn't help it".
I think that perhaps I have overdone the whole validating feelings thing when he was younger! How can we get this back? Is it a phase? DH is really keen to nip it in the bud because the tendency to blame others is a really horrible trait in teenagers and adults. We don't want to make him feel horrible, we just want him to be able to think: oops, I messed up, but it's not the end of the world and I'll do better next time.
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