Blaming

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Any ideas on how I can address the issue of my difficult child blaming me for everything? Every time he gets mad, it's my fault. I realize some of that is kid stuff, but I am not able to see the forest for the trees, because I'm one of the trees. (Okay, that was lame, but you know what I mean.)

    Last night he screamed at me and pointed a finger in my face, "Everything I do is your fault! Because you MADE me do it!" He waved his arm toward the mess in his room, "All this is your fault!" (Yeah... I was on the other side of the house listening for 45 min. while he threw projectiles around his room. I had an invisible ray gun and made his arms move.)

    I want to put a stop to this now... "It's not my fault" is rampant everywhere I go. The waitresses at local restaurants who forget orders (is the customer supposed to take the little piece of paper back to the kitchen and hand it to the cook? What are we paying for?); the company that forgets to record our payment but cashes the check... it's not THEIR fault; The oil company that, once again, has missed our delivery and when the furnace shuts off and I have to call them, calls me back as they're filling the tank and says, "You weren't out of oil. You still had 11 gallons. So it's not our fault."
    Say what? They gave us 330 gallons that day and the furnace was sucking up sludge! No wonder it shut off!
    I do not want my difficult child to go out into the world like that. I don't want him to have the load of Catholic guilt I dragged around with-me, either. (Although I highly doubt we're in any danger of that.)

    When I tell stories, or read things out of the newspaper, he sort of understands them, but absolutely cannot apply them to himself.

    I need ideas!
    :smile:
     
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    My 11-year old (with Aspergers like your difficult child) has the same problem. If you find a solution, please let me know. We've had some success at having him keep those thoughts to himself but we can tell he still firmly believes that the blame always lies with someone else, because if we just let him do whatever he wanted there wouldn't be any problem LOL
     
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My daughter is quite a bit younger, so that may be why this worked. My daughter was taught "which side her bread is buttered on" by my husband. Every time I would be blamed for something, he would point out something I did that benefited her: ice skating, music, gifts, parties, yummy foods, books to read. You get the idea. Then he pointed out that none of that would have happened if I didn't make it happen. So, husband built up a sense of appreciation for me in Duckie. Eventually, the blaming was lessened.
     
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Repetition . . . cause & effect.

    I will not get into any argument with kt or wm about blame. It's their choice, therefore their consequence.

    Saying that, it's been a matter of teaching them to stop & think. A matter of showing the tweedles the "equation" of 1 plus 2 equals 3.

    I started out giving the tweedles 2 choices & letting them know the consequence ahead of time. If you do your homework you will be able to play at recess; if you choose not to do your homework you lose recess.

    That mindset has lessened the blame game. It's given tweedle dee & dum some power in their lives while making them stop & think.

    It's a slow painful process. Be prepared to continue the blame game; however point out the choices made & that you weren't a part of the process.

    Good luck - this isn't easy.
     
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I figured it was rote, since he's probably aspie. Sigh.
     
  6. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Oh how familiar with this one we are. I get blamed a whole lot more than husband does but still everything is our fault. We have worked many hours to change that thinking. AT thanksgiving difficult child 2 knew he was to come home for an overnight visit because no other kids would be home. We went over expectations etc on the Monday before and he knew we would pick him up on Wednesday. The list of expectations was kept short so as not to be overwhelming. The first thing being no fighting with any other peers. Tuesday we received a phone call saying he hit another kid up side the head. Of course that meant visit was cancelled. He blamed husband repetitively for this. husband reminded him of the list and said no it was his decision not to follow the expectations. difficult child 2 hung up on him. Finally when we had our next session he admitted it was his fault. I think it is easier for them than taking on accountability for their actions.

    Beth
     
  7. Luminosity

    Luminosity New Member

    My difficult child blames everyone else for his mistakes and problems. I have found no concrete way to make him realize that his actions cause the consequenses... I have done the choice options with disclosing the consequenses... he just says "I don't care". He "I don't cares" himself to his room a lot. I have given up on the messy bedroom issue... lately it's been his glasses - an expensive action... If he doesn't do his homework and remembers later it's our fault etc... I am sure you have all been there at some point.
     
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    This has been an ongoing 'lesson', if you will, with our difficult child. She will somehow (quite easily in fact) get herself into yet another jam and then point fingers on how it was someone else's fault or someone made her do it, or "I was scared" so therefore it wasn't her free will that got her in the jam, etc.

    We always try to go over the chain of events that led her to that place and gently point out how she got there of her own doing - we all have choices over how we behave and what actions we take. difficult child needs to learn this and get it down pat. There's just no telling how long it will take. I really like the idea presented by TM for Duckie. That's basically what we've done. Repeat, repeat...
     
  9. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Hi,
    If one focus on the future , see the past as a learning experience , you take out blame from the dynamic. If one is being judgmental with a kid , always holding him up to rules and expectations , he will always find some one else to blame ,but when you give him a vision and he now has a plan to do better , he will take responsibilty
    We have to see our role too, as Alfie Kohn said - Discipline is the problem , not the solution. If we give the message We all make mistakes, and you can trust me to help you do better in the future , we take blame out of the picture.


    Allan
     
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great job Beth! Reading that gives me hope.

    Luminosity, I get that all the time, "I don't care!" all the way to his room. Sometimes, I'll add a day or hour (depending upon what's being restricted) ea time he yells "I don't care!"
    My daughter freaks out and tells her brother to stop, because she can see he's hammering himself into the ground, but he often keeps on going. Then he calms down in about 1/2 hr and begs to do favors and chores so he can earn back in one day what would take a whole wk.
    I need to connect those dots somehow...
     
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm pretty much blamed for everything that difficult child does. He'll also blame others because nothing is ever his fault-I'm just the lucky one to get most of it. We've tried many things-like those mentioned above but nothing really has stuck yet. We'll keep plugging away!
     
  12. Ally

    Ally New Member

    My difficult child continues to blame me for what goes wrong in her life. Im still trying to figure out how it is my fault for her getting caught shoplifting and doing a B&E.

    Ally
     
  13. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I totally understand where you are coming from!!! Both difficult child 1 and difficult child 2 blame me for everything negative that happens to them!!! I handle this similar to the way Linda does.

    I will not get into an argument with either one of them. Arguing with a difficult child does not serve any useful purpose and, with my difficult children, it makes matters much worse. I always try to use a neutral and calm voice when they are out of control. If possible, I won't speak at all when they've lost it.

    Similar to Linda, I give my difficult children two choices. They can do what is expected of them and enjoy positive consequences, or they can do as they choose and deal with the negative consequences.

    This method has made a big difference in difficult child 1's behavior. difficult child 2 will still tantrum when dealing with the negative consequences of his poor choices. However, when he calms down, he truly does understand that he brought the consequences on himself.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this. I know how much it sucks!!! WFEN
     
  14. Vanilla

    Vanilla New Member

    Terry, am VERY familiar with being blamed by difficult child. When he held a knife to me and his brother back in September, I called the police. He went to Juvenile Detention and is currently on probation. This is MY fault, in his view, because until the police intervened, "there was no crime." He refuses to acknowledge that he picked up a weapon to intimidate me into re-instating his guitar lessons and that the entire situation could have been averted by a better choice on his part. When he goes into one of his tirades about this all being "my fault" I simply respond that he made his choice and I made mine...not to be threatened or bullied into giving into compliance. I also tell him that people who constantly blame others are actually giving control of their lives to those others, in a sense being powerless to control outcomes. I don't know how much of this sinks in. He probably still blames me but he is the one with restrictions and public service hours to complete, not me. We also have to realize we cannot control how our G'sFG think about things...we just have to keep trying to help them accept responsibility as best we can. Good luck, I'm with ya! Vanilla
     
  15. judi

    judi Active Member

    HEy, I'm in good company because my son blames me for all the ills in his life and he's 21!
     
  16. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    difficult child does this all the time to me. He always knows better than me, too. I don't argue. I just point out that he choose to do to it, not me. One day he was telling me that I was wrong about a certain thing. I whipped out my cellphone, went to the text message that proved I was right. He just looked at me but he did add "for once you're right". Sounds terrible, but I enjoyed the moment.
     
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, DO enoy the moment, LOL!

    So sorry about the knife and police. There wasn't a crime until the police were called? Sheesh. Police are there to stop the progression of a crime. No one calls the police for any other reason. Sigh.

    Yes, I try to walk away when difficult child is in the middle of a tantrum, blaming episode... it's not always successful; he'll follow me to my room and start kicking the door. Sometimes it's better to stand there and listen to him, then just say, "Really?" and then walk away. Seems to help diffuse him if he has his "say." I don't agree and don't disagree.

    One day at a time...
     
  18. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I, too, am always blamed for everything. OR it was his "friend"'s fault. WHAT friend? He dooesn't have a friend in the whole state. I get so tired of hearing it. When do they begin to grow up even just a little?
     
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry, you said, " I don't want him to have the load of Catholic guilt I dragged around with-me, either"

    Linda's right - you need to get right away from ANY aspect of blame in any direction. To reply with any form of "but it's NOT my fault" will still leave you on the blame topic, and not going anywhere. The word that keeps cropping up is "fault".

    Your RC background (or even a Jewish background? plus there are others) can tend to lay a lot of guilt on you. And your own connection to the guilt you grew up with is making it hard for you to avoid it now - it's like fear, people smell it on you. The guilt, the sense of personal responsibility. The problem is, it's programmed so thoroughly into your psyche, even though you KNOW it's unreasonable, that at any hint of blame happening, you try to avoid it. But this is then still about blame.

    You have to cut yourself off from it or the family never will.

    In our case, it was easy child who first started insisting, "It's not my fault." OK, she didn't follow through with the next logical point, "...therefore it's YOUR fault," maybe because I wasn't brought up with a load of personal guilt tattooed on my forehead. (Which meant I wasn't such a logical choice to blame). husband, on the other hand, has enough of a personal load of inappropriate guilt for HIM to be the target for a long time.

    What we did (and still need to do) - we keep repeating, "This is not about blame."
    "Sometimes it's nobody's fault." (although that statement also is still about blame.)

    Getting back to consequences, as Linda suggested, has also made a big difference to us. Last night difficult child 3 played computer games well past his curfew of 8.30 pm. By the time we reminded him it was almost 9.30 - time for bed. "But I haven't had my ice cream yet!" he complained.
    We reminded him - "If you had stopped your computer game when you were supposed to, you would have remembered in time. You have now run out of time - you used that time to play games. And you haven't even had your bath - you definitely have no time for ice cream, you barely have time to bath and clean your teeth before lights out at 10 pm."

    difficult child 3 was a partner in setting up these rules, so he can't blame anyone. if he tried to say, "It's your fault for not reminding me," the response is, "It's not my job to remind you. When I DO remind you, it's a bonus, but if I'm busy I can't be responsible for everything you do. This was your choice."

    By breaking the rules, difficult child 3 missed out on his ice cream. We had no punishment for breaking the rules- we didn't need one.

    Punishments also tend to bring blame back into the picture. In punishing someone we are inflicting our will on them. We are imposing our views, our desires and (it is perceived) our wrath on them for breaking rules.
    But if you have rules which bring their own punishment for breaking them, or have logical consequences, it is not only closer to real life (and hence prepares them better) but blame stays away much more easily.

    If difficult child 3 doesn't complete his schoolwork because he sneakily reads a book or wastes time, his punishment is that the work doesn't get done in the allotted time. he then has to give up some of his personal time to get the work done. Sometimes this happens anyway, through no fault of his. Hey, that's life. I still support him whatever the reason, and encourage him. I'm teaching him to reward himself for reaching certain milestones - this is similar to Nomad's suggestions, too. Yesterday difficult child 3 completed the bulk of the work on a school subject, so I took him to the beach. It was a good thing - it was beginning to rain just as we left (no beach today). I pointed out how much more he could enjoy the beach, knowing his work had been done.

    This also fits with Allan's comments - discipline of the punitive variety causes more problems than it helps. I know this sounds crazy, but changing our mind-set on this has made a huge difference to us. It works. And the result is NOT a spoilt child (as we feared) but a self-governed one. The Asperger's here is an asset - these kids love rules and will try to explain the world with their own rules if we don't give them a more logical set. helping them find the RIGHT rules brings more success than simply being heavy with the discipline.

    The "I don't care" response, and the continual focus of the child on needing to blame someone - this is abdication of responsibility for consequences. If that continues they will become an adult who takes no personal responsibility and has never learnt the connection between action and consequences.

    Focussing on blame is a bad thing for everybody. It is depressing, you go through life seeing blame everywhere and feeling it as a personal load.
    But if you can change your thinking (not easy) you see a world where people make mistakes and try to learn from them. Yes, some people are still hung up on blame and will lie to avoid taking responsibility - look on them as sad individuals who won't grow and make the changes they need, to not make the same mistake again. That is sad - but that is no longer you.

    Vanilla - your difficult child did the wrong thing. It is a crime whether the police are called or not. Until he understands that he will always try to abdicate personal responsibility by amazing mental gymnastics. I know you understand this, but how to teach him? I like your response to him - you're bringing him back to consequences.
    The other point we've made with our kids - we are far more tolerant of their wrongs than the average member of t he public. If he had treated a house mate like that, it would have been far more serious. If you failed in your parental duty to make him take responsibility, then next time it could have been far worse, because allowing him to do this without consequences will escalate t he criminal activity. If there had been no crime to begin with, the police would not have come. if the police are the cause of crime, then we should have no police, for a much happier state.

    Nomad's suggestions are definitely worth following. But I would also suggest - be hard on yourself, when you notice yourself focussing on blame with other people. Until you break your habits, you will still attract his blame.

    Marg
     
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    "And your own connection to the guilt you grew up with is making it hard for you to avoid it now - it's like fear, people smell it on you."

    LOL! Awright!

    What we did (and still need to do) - we keep repeating, "This is not about blame."

    Got it. Thank you.
     
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