Have you ever heard a child say the word “but” while trying to justify an action? But he was touching me, But she called me a name, but, but, but… are all ways of trying to get out of being responsible for their own actions. Unfortunately many adults continue to make excuses, try to rationalize or blame some outside force for their actions and mistakes.
How can a parent help the child learn accountability? When you hear the word “but”, ask them What was the action? Why did you take the action? What did you think was right or why did you think it wasn’t wrong? As a parent you want to understand how your child is thinking. They will not be looking at things the same way you would as an adult, but as you talk to them you will be able to give them more effective methods and ways of looking at the situations that come up in their life.
The changes you want to see will not occur quickly, but with your own modeling of accountability you will find that most children will be able to understand and use the tools that you give them.