Looking for Somebody to Blame...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    difficult child is notorious for blaming her problems on everybody else. Our strategy for this school year is to remain as "uninvolved" as possible...the theory being that if we are not involved, we cannot be blamed.

    So how's that working out? :mad: Yea, right!

    Well, we've been getting accused of all kinds of stuff anyway. It's ridiculous!

    difficult child's latest adventure is in ROTC. In her own mind, she is on the road to a scholarship for the best and the brightest. Everything is just rosy...

    Until this week, when she learned that in order to pass the physical fitness test, she needs to be able to run one mile. And she cannot...

    Does she think the fact that she spends the weekend laying on the couch doing nothing is a contributing factor?

    How about the fact that she skips breakfast and lunch every day - -then spends the afternoon and evening gorging on junk food?


    She has decided that she wants her FATHER to help her pass the physical fitness test.

    Now if she thinks that means he is going to start going jogging a couple miles with her every day or something, she has another think coming.

    He can TELL her the physical fitness standards for ROTC, and he can COACH her....just the same way her teacher has been. But the actual work is going to be up to difficult child.

    Will she actually put in the effort?

    I don't know. And on some level, I think difficult child is trying to make the physical fitness test about her Dad - so if she fails, it's going to be ALL HIS FAULT.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    DF, I'd be willing to put down money that you're right.

    She has to be able to blame someone, right? So... How about the people who created that "silly" one-mile rule, anyway?! (Though to be honest, I sincerely doubt I could run a mile... Then again... I don't need to. And I don't eat like that and sit around all day, either.)

    Yeah, you've got her pegged. Did she ask him or tell him? 'Cause I'm thinking he now has a really good reason to make stupid excuses - she won't see the parallels, but it could be fun for him...
  3. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    I don't like the ' blame ' word even if the difficult child blames himself because it just creates a mindset that that problems are here to stay because of me or because of her. Blame focuses on the past and staying in the past. The way to solve problems is to externalize them , see them on a screen , even use imaginery people . Blame also focuses on the negative - what difficult child is doing and not what she could be doing and she needs help to articulate her goals and concerns and come up with a plan which is feasible and realistic. husband maybe part of the plan , but difficult child and husband will have to sit down and find a plan which is mutually satisfactory. Again , in my humble opinion we need to get of the blame word. Taking responsibility is not about taking the blame or even admitting what you did , but rather seeing that there is a problem to be solved and working on it.

    Not easy
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Allen, that is a great theory. It is all well and good if we take "blame" out of things, but having parents who don't use blame does little good when the difficult child uses blame to create a smokescreen that she thinks lets her "off the hook". The reality is that the particular difficult child that DF is raising seems to absolutely ADORE blaming people, and many many people outside the immediate family seem to buy her "excuses" when she adds in blame aimed at parents or whomever is the target of the moment.

    in my opinion your husband needs to use whatever he can to let her know that this is HER problem and her success or failure is dependent ONLY on her hard work or lack of it. I think staying uninvolved in this issue is probably a good idea. You have tried so many other ways to handle it, maybe this is the only thing that will get her thinking, or at least to stop some of the drama?
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Sounds like a great time to start the "take a lap" punishments for not doing her chores, talking back, etc. ;)
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There are many ways to build up her stamina for the one mile run. She is lucky it is only a mile...lol. Jamie used to run 3 miles every morning before school. Not sure exactly the type of community you live in...if you have neighborhood blocks or more rural...but have her start out doing a walk jog combo for several days for say one block...then do it for two blocks...then a quarter mile...then a half mile...then 3/4 mile...then the mile. Find out what her time needs to be and start working on that when she can actually do the mile. I remember when Jamie entered boot he had to be able to run 3 miles I think it was in less than so many minutes. He had that down pat. In fact the only thing he had trouble with was pull ups because he was so dang tall it was hard to find something for him to hang from and pull all his weight up in the proper position. He has always had that problem. He can still run long distances...I think he runs over 10 miles and can do push ups galore but he hates pull ups.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    We would LOVE for difficult child to set some goals. And therein lies the disconnect...

    She has been under the impression that by simply enrolling in the ROTC program, she qualified for a scholarship that will pay for a full four years college tuition. She is wrong. husband and I have tried to explain this to her. We have asked her to show us the information about this "scholarship". We have advised her to talk to her ROTC Commander about the scholarship program. But so far, difficult child remains in denial.

    This week the ROTC cadets had to do physical fitness testing. difficult child did not pass. This has been the first indication to her that she may not pass the ROTC program.

    husband was in the Army years ago....until he blew out his knee and they sent him home. Today, husband is nowhere near the shape he was in then....but yes, he would make an excellent coach for her. He will in no way be able to run with her...and has no intention of even trying.

    If difficult child were able to articulate some goals....we would be more than happy to support her.

    Instead, this has been more like an "announcement" - You need to help me pass the Phyiscal Fitness Test.

    I guess we'll see...
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Yes, she ABSOLUTELY ADORES blaming others - I love your wording! I do hope that husband can make it clear that difficult child needs to do the work....and yet still be supportive.


    Take a lap! I LOVE IT!


    We are in a great area for running. Plenty of sidewalks - PLUS a walking trail all around the area. All she really needs to do is put on her sneakers and start!


    Thank you for the vote of confidence! I'm glad somebody thinks I'm smart...
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I agree with Allan on blame. Whether it starts with the kid or with the parents, we all tend to get caught up on the blame merry-go-round. One blames, the other throws it back and says, "You want to know who to blame? Look in the mirror!"

    We found that difficult child continued to use blame even after we stopped it. The problem is because there is a lag effect, and we taught our kids too well, to use blame. When difficult child 3 tries to say, "It's you fault," we keep saying, "This is not about blame. Blame does not come into this. This is about dealing with the problem in a constructive way."

    You just keep saying it. In the process, you are not only refusing to accept being blamed, you are refusing to allow ANY blame being cast anywhere. It always comes back to responsibility to get the job done. And if it's not your job... then you are not responsible. Passing the physical fitness test ultimately is the individual's responsibility. If dad helps, all he can do is help. He can't do the physical work himself, and have her pass. He could get out there and run alongside her, he could get fit and healthy and fun a four minute mile, but if SHE doesn't also do this, SHE is the one who misses out because she was unable to ensure the task was completed by her. This then comes down to choices she made - lie on the couch, or go for a walk. Walking is the starting point, you have to walk before you can run. Walking will build stamina which she will need to run a mile.

    Another option - her dad tells her, "We are going for a run NOW. I am not responsible for your ability or otherwise to meet the criteria. I am willing to help you get fit, but you have to do it now. You have a window of opportunity, to accept some help."
    He then gets into the car and drives down the road, using the speedo to measure a mile for her. She needs to know how far she has to run. She can walk it the first few times, but once the mile has been marked out, she knows the route she has to work. SHE has to work. Her dad has done all he needs to do and she has no place to lay blame. Of course she will try, but it always has to come back to, "You have the responsibility to use what your father gave you. You chose to not use it - that's OK< it's your right to choose. But he did everything he was asked to do."

    It's a fine line, but it is still a move away from blame.

    The trouble is, blame has been working for her for so long, this will not stop overnight. Old successful habits can become lifelong addictions.

  10. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    I really believe that difficult children should have mentors or somebody they admire and can talk to . There is often too much emotional baggage for them to hear us . When they hear it from someone else they can reflect and discuss it. This has worked so well with us with my ds seeking out positive young adults as guides and mentors

    maybe we can hang a poster on the wall with a quote from Byron Katie

    "Placing the blame or judgment on someone else
    leaves you powerless to change your experience.
    Taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgments
    gives you the power to change them."

    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    My kiddo likes this one: "False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. "Socrates
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Since making her request to husband....difficult child has done absolutely nothing by way of improving her fitness level.

    So, I tried to help her figure out exactly what needs to be done to pass the Physical Fitness Test.

    OK, I asked, What exactly are the fitness requirements?

    difficult child wasn't sure.

    Well, what areas do you know you're having trouble in?

    difficult child mentioned sit-ups.

    OK, I asked how many sit-ups do you need to be able to do to pass the test?

    difficult child's answer?


    What? I asked her. More than what?

    More than I can do now.

    And that was it. End of conversation. So yes, I am getting the feeling that difficult child is not at all serious about doing anything about the Physical Fitness Test.

    Well, not my problem...
  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Ah, yes...Not My Problem. My favorite line. Still guaranteed to tick Miss KT off, especially when followed by, "How do you plan to correct this?" or "What can you do to fix this?"

    Then she says, "Whatever, Mom, I have to go now," and hangs up the phone.

    Sending hugs and strength.