Tip of the Week

January 24, 2022

The blame game

When something goes wrong, students often look to external factors rather than taking an honest look in the mirror. By placing blame elsewhere and painting themselves as a victim, students are trying to spare themselves from criticism and preserve their self-esteem. Taking ownership of our shortcomings is hard for all ages! 

When your child avoids taking responsibility, rather than creating a confrontation and placing blame on the child, try to be a partner rather than an adversary. Regardless of who is “at fault” (teacher or child), the focus needs to turn to solving the problem. Start with a deep breath, then devise a plan together. For example: 

Student: “I don’t understand this! My teacher didn’t explain it well.”

Adult: “Ok, fair enough. And this stuff is hard! Where can we look to help us better understand this material? What else can we do?”


Student: “This 65 on the test is not my fault. My teacher put stuff on the test we haven’t learned yet.”

Adult: “That’s frustrating. How about we compose an email to your teacher together and ask if we can review what kinds of questions you missed so we can devise a better study plan next time?”


Student: “How was I supposed to know I had homework? My teacher didn’t post it online!”

Adult: “You’re right, but it seems like we need to devise a different way of tracking your homework since it seems your teacher isn’t always posting it for you. How can we solve this?”