Why Can't They Take Responsibility For Their Actions???????

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by chrisdog01, May 8, 2008.

  1. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    It's always the same story, it's never the difficult child's fault, is it? It's always ours or someone else's. My husband called our son and talked with him this morning just to see if he's okay and where he is. After talking for a bit my husband told N that it was stupid to have a party in our house (again) and smoking pot (again) which was the final straw that broke camel's back. All N could say was "I didn't know you'd be coming home". How stupid of a response is that? Obviously in his mind the only thing he did wrong was get caught.

    This has been a trait of his since birth. He was a great kid when he was younger, but never took responsibility for his own actions which was my only complaint about him.

    I'm sure eveyone has experienced the same thing, and I don't think it gets any less frustrating as time goes on. We've never had an "oops", "I screwed up", "sorry", or anything else.

  2. MrsApril05

    MrsApril05 Busy Bee

    I'm dreading my 8yr old difficult child turning into a teenager. She can't accept responsibility for any of her actions either...I thought I was doing something wrong with her, but found out that its common with children with ODD, I still don't like it. I can however get her to go to her room and make me( or who ever) an I'm sorry card/ letter. It a step for us, I don't know what I'd do in your shoes. Is there any other way you get him to show he's sorry?
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    M is almost 22 years old. He'd lie and lie and lie. If you caught him red handed doing something that he had to admit was wrong, his response was always "You know that I have never said "I'm sorry" for anything I ever did and I never will."

    How do you deal with that? I have no idea. That's when you're happy just to see the back of them. I don't know that I would be calling him if I were in your shoes. You won't hear from him in a while, but you'll probably feel better about it if he comes to you than you do trying to get him to have a conscience that you're comfortable with. T'aint gonna happen this week.
  4. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    I guess the frustration is that we (I) hope that each time is worse and the difficult child will finally realize who/what they've hurt and apologize, or admit fault. But each time is doesn't happen. I had just hoped that getting kicked out would have made him realize what he did was wrong, not that our rules were too strict.

    I've always told my difficult child that he'd make an excellent attorney or politician because he can argue like nobodys business and get you so confused that you end up feeling bad instead of him. I guess without the high school diploma being an attorney is out, but he could always be a politician! :laughing:
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Chrisdog, I feel your pain.

    This has come up on a few threads recently. After years and years of beating my head, trying to get through to my difficult child so that he would see the effects of his actions and feel remorse for them, I have come to believe that he just doesn't have it in him.

    So...because remorse doesn't work, I tried to figure out what did.

    I finally narrowed it down to Pleasure vs. Pain. Those are the only 2 things that motivate difficult child, and I have given myself 2 rules in all dealings with difficult child.

    Either following the rules must provide more pleasure than breaking them OR the pain resulting from breaking the rule must be significantly greater than the pleasure to be gained from breaking them.

    I think it takes our difficult children a long long time to learn life lessons, and they seem to almost always need to learn them the hard way.

  6. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Yep. You hit the nail on the head.

    I never figured out what the problem was with Rob in the old days. He knew that if he told the truth and took responsibility that the consequences were far less severe than if he lied. But he was addicted to the thrill of trying to get away with something- anything- and we learned not to trust a word out of his mouth. It's a horrible way to live.

  7. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im still waiting for Oldest to admit to lying, in the past or present. Nope, hasn't happened yet.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Call me goofy, but I always believe that they can learn them. There's always hope. I just don't have to be a witness to it forever! ;)
  9. catwoman

    catwoman New Member

    When my difficult child left home at age 16 after several years of sheer hell, he tried to blind me before he ran with $1000 of my money. It was 5 years before he said he was sorry and I don't think he had any sense of what he was even apologizing for. He told me he "was sorry for everything he put me through," and I think he meant the words, but if someone asked him what, specifically, he had done, I don't think he could say. It felt as if he knew on some level that he had done things that were wrong, but because he felt justified in doing those things they didn't really feel wrong to him. I'm not sure I'm explaining it correctly, but I don't think he feels things the way other people do.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Catwoman, the sad thing is I know exactly what you are talking about. husband got the "I'm sorry for being such a lousy kid" line last winter when everyone else had finally gotten tired of him and he had no money, no food, no house, etc. The final straw with us was his cold-cocking his dad, and keeping a 9 inch chef's knife to kill me.

    I think he's sorry that we got mad. It will take a lot more than words for me to believe that he has any concept of how wrong what he did was. I still think he can do it. I'm just not so gullible that I will believe his words.
  11. judi

    judi Active Member

    been there done that and got the battle scars to prove it! Our son (now almost 23) has talked to us for five minutes total since Jan 08. He hasn't seen his son since January either. Everything is always "poor me and look what happened to me." We seriously did not raise this young man to be irresponsible, lazy and totally uncaring. We taught him compassion, we gave him compassion. So...what is lacking? Wish I had the answer.
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I recall there was a book called Logical Consequences that was good about teaching parents to help their children accept responsibility for their actions. There is absolutely no guarantees with these things, but I do believe that strongly re-enforcing that there are consequences to behavior might help many children. It's been many years, but I think the idea was to make sure that negative behavior resulted in negative consequences, but to also make sure there was "logic" and appropriateness to the consequences. I think if I had to do it again, I would be better at also reinforcing positive behavior as well.

    I do believe it is very frustrating when some children take an excessively long period of time to figure these things out and they do this from day one and throughout their youth.

    One thing might do well to teach our young people...that although a person can always make a decision to change for the better, essentially "we are our choices."
  13. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    With my difficult child I really believe he cannot think past the next 15 minutes in his life. If something doesn't give him immediate gratification he will find something else that will. He can't save money for a future purchase because he can't see that far ahead. He steals because he wants it NOW. We have been lucky in that he was never physically violent and never confronts anyone with his theft, but still broken inside to think he must have things that he hasn't earned. He is presently thinking over his next fifteen minutes in prison and will be doing that for the next five years. Maybe that's a blessing for him in there......
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT is the same way, and so is her father, and it drives me absolutely INSANE! I didn't know how to deal with him during his "passive/aggressive, whiny whiny poor me and I have no idea how that happened" lifestyle, and Miss KT follows right along, and the older she gets, the worse she gets. And she'll only be 17 in August.
  15. ChefPaula1965

    ChefPaula1965 Oh my aching back!!

    Do I ever have a good one for not taking responsibility for action:
    Andre says that it is not his fault for going AWOL.... He was just duped by the recruiter... and besides, he wasn't ready.............
    We taught consequences... good for good and logical for bad... yet he continues................
    Big group hug to all of us.............
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I honestly think that my son lives in another world. He knows this world exists, but much of his mind is in his fantasy world. In his fantasy world EVERYTHING he does is right. So taking responsibility in this world just doesn't make sense to him.

    I will say he is BETTER since lying, violence, etc has resulted in hours and hours of yard work and hard labor. The hard physical labor has somewhat gotten through to him. I pray it will stay that way, maybe even get better.

    Group hug!!!

  17. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Can I get in on this group hug????????PLEASE! My difficult child is a master at this artwork.
  18. ChefPaula1965

    ChefPaula1965 Oh my aching back!!

    Big group hug to all of those of us who have to deal with the type of difficult child ness...