The blame game

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by HopeRemains, May 23, 2012.

  1. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    difficult child has always blamed everything under the sun for things that happen to him. He falls down the stairs, STUPID STAIRS (or- Stupid Mom, even though I am across the room)! He walks into a door, STUPID DOOR! But things have taken a turn that I suppose I should have expected. Now he has a 3 yr old to blame for everything. He's been blaming easy child for everything that happens to him lately. If he has to pick up his room, it is easy child's fault for playing with the toys (even though they both played with them and difficult child is the one who pulled the entire toybox out into the middle of the room). This morning difficult child was watching TV as he was walking backwards and stepped on a game easy child was playing with. He screamed at easy child and said easy child had set it up as a trap for him "like he always does".

    This has been just constant the past few weeks. I'm afraid it will start to mess with easy child's head the way he is talked to and treated. Some times he is screamed at and other times I hear difficult child talking to easy child in the lowest, nastiest voice saying mean things so that we might not hear. Any suggestions?
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I would tell difficult child that he loses 50 cents or TV time or whatever would affect him the most, each time he says that to easy child.
    I would talk to easy child and coach him with ideas for comebacks. Yes, he is taking it all in. It can affect his self esteem. You are wise and loving to notice and want to do something about it.
    Even if he agrees to say, "You know you aren't supposed to blame me all the time because it's against the rules," it's something. I would not tell him to say that he's going to tell on difficult child, because being a tattletale can make it worse.
    Just some random ideas ... best of luck. And many hugs.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I agree with Terry. There needs to be a consequence when difficult child blames easy child. I would also keep talking to easy child about how he's not to blame and how difficult child is just mad and that difficult child has no right to blame him, etc. You can keep undoing what difficult child is doing, mentally I mean. Call difficult child on it EVERY time he does it, especially if you hear him whispering so he doesn't get caught. Let him know he's busted.

    Maybe he has to go to his room when he blames easy child for something because if he's in his room, easy child CAN'T do anything. Know what I mean?? Good luck.
  4. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Thank you, Ladies. I think those are good ideas. Sending him to his room is something I am trying to veer away from because of meltdowns, but I think taking TV time away is a good idea. I would do the 50 cent idea, but he is currently working off a kicked hole in the wall and destroyed screen by doing extra "chores", so I just want to concentrate on that for right now with the money. Plus, money has never been a motivatior for him... he doesn't appreciate the value of it, just sees it as coins in a jar.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    other really important point - look to his environment. We often use natural consequences with out difficult children, but for some kids these can morph into blaming. Think about what you (and other adult) say to difficult child. "Your dinner is cold because you took too long to come to the table." Or "Your toy broke because you left it lying on the floor and it got stepped on."

    While these are natural consequences, especially with socially immature individuals this can become an easy way out of learning to find where to dump the blame when things don't work out. He wants to go swimming, but there is a storm. So it's the storm's fault. Or he runs out of time because the things he wanted to do took longer than he had planned. So it's got to be someone's fault.

    What you need to do is really, really work at teaching him that sometimes bad things happen to good people and nobody is to blame. Life happens.

    What can help, but go carefully - look at natural disasters. Ask him whose fault it was, that there was an earthquake or tsunami. Whose fault is it that the Fukoshima nuclear reactor was damaged? They had planned for what they thought would be the worst case scenario, and the tsunami that hit was even bigger than they thought could happen. Okay, there may have been some subsequent human error, but the outcome would have been much the same.

    The next thing to teach him - "okay, this happened. What is the best way to handle this now?" Again, do not focus on blame. Just focus on what to do to prevent a recurrence. "How can we fix this? How can we make this better?"
    With a broken toy, the focus is on, "Let's pick up that toy and see if we can fix it. And let's look to see if there's anything else in danger of being trodden on. It doesn't matter who left it there, if we pick it up we're preventing damage. And that is a good thing."

    We need to teach positive intervention and also teach that this is a way to turn potential bad events into good ones. Identifying a hazard before it becomes reality, is a useful skill. A difficult child who is constantly angry and blaming, is being reactive. We need to learn ourselves, and teach our kids, to be proactive. It can be done.

  6. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    We struggled with the same type of problems. difficult child was extremely jealous of "difficult child in training". It was constant non stop harassment and blaming of his younger brother. We were very concerned on how this would effect "difficult child in training's" self confidence. We would keep them apart from each other as much as possible. We would have long talks with "difficult child in training" about why difficult child's statements were just wrong, and point out the very positive things he did and build him up as much as we could. Always with out difficult child around. And yes there were consequences for difficult child's behavior, but none of them seemed to have much effect. Which we found very frustrating. Currently difficult child is much better and "difficult child in training" has developed a good self image. I believe he is intelligent enough to recognize difficult child behavior for what it is, and has learned to largely ignore it.
  7. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Marg- That's a little bit of GENIUS right there! I'll start working on that today, in fact, just as I was typing this something he was building fell apart. He started to get mad when I piped up "That's okay, what can we do to fix it?". He got a smile on his face and said "We can just build it again!". THANKS!
  8. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    aero- Thanks. I think that easy child is very perceptive and we have had an actual conversation about difficult child's behaviors before. He even asked me questions about it and I answered. It's probably time for another one, though. For a 3 yr old he has a great vocab and understands so much- so we're all lucky in that respect.
  9. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    This sounds like difficult child 1. He was insanely jealous of difficult child 2. Whispering really nasty things to him, trying to hurt him, blaming him for everything. Its been a long road with lots of therapists for difficult child 1 and for difficult child 2. No one thing worked it was the combined 'try-everything-we-can' approach that after years of working on this issue we've made progress. One thing we did was to stop whispering. If difficult child 1 was talking and I couldn't hear what he was saying I called him into the room with me. If one of the other kids started crying and we couldn't figure out why difficult child 1 had to be right by me. It was a guilty until proven innocent approach that went against all my thoughts of what fair is. We also challenged every time he would blame his siblings for something. He still blames them, but know he can verbalize (when challenged) that his siblings didn't do it. It might have been.... He blames them much less now too.

    I don't know if your difficult child does this but with difficult child 1 the blaming was directly linked to the amount of aggression. We couldn't just let difficult child 1 continue in the false beliefs or the aggression increased.
  10. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Lia- that's also a good suggestion. If I hear whispering he will now be my ghost. You said you couldn't let difficult child 1 go on with his false beliefs... how did you work on that? By challenging the accusations each time?
  11. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Yes, it is to exhausting to challenge every one, so we just work on the ones he blames on his siblings. For example, I wouldn't care if he blamed the door that he walked into. I would care if he blamed difficult child 2 because difficult child 2 went through it before he did.

    When we started working on this he wouldn't agree with us. He would say something like "difficult child 2 scratched the game disk." I would say "you don't know who scratched the game disk." He would try to argue with me about it. I would send him to his room. Then while in his room he would get out anything he wanted to say and be very angry. Now he is changing tactics saying "the game disk is scratched and I know who did it". (While he glares at difficult child 2) To which I reply "No, you don't know who scratched the game disk." Then he says oh. Or, he might try to argue about it, but I tell him no arguing and he stops. Most times he doesn't have to go to his room anymore, but we've been working on this for years.

    This is just what we've done. Its working for us, but might not work for everyone.
  12. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    I think that your reasoning tactics and Margurite's combined will help tremendously. Help him wrap his head around the fact that not everything is happening TO HIM, things just happen. The whispering has got to go. Thank goodness for simple things that help!