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How can I help my child stop making excuses?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Irresponsible kids often try to get out of their responsibilities by making excuses (or fibbing, inventing justifications, or lying). So set a new family policy: “We do not excuse excuses.” Then the very next time your kid tries shirking his responsibilities with “an attitude,” enforce the policy and help him find a solution to his problem so there is no excuse. Suppose your kid makes an excuse for his misplaced library book: “How can I remember where it is? I can never find anything around this house!” Your response to the attitude is: “That’s an excuse. We don’t make those in this house. We’re going to figure out right now what you can do so it won’t happen again.” The excuse-busting solution the parent and kid created: the child set aside a box near his bedroom door for his library books then taped a big card to the box with the due date plainly visible. The result: no more excuses or lost library books. A few more examples of kid-excuses turned into solutions: “I was too busy to put my toys away.” A young child draws himself a picture of a box or shelf as a reminder that the rule is: “Not later but now.” Or:  “As soon as you stop playing you put your toys away. ”I didn’t know what time the game started.” Your kid writes his time schedule and posts it on the refrigerator or bedroom door. A young child can draw a clock face showing the time.
The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

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The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

Today show's Michele Borba's cures for difficult childhood behaviors In this down-to-earth guide, parenting expert Michele Borba offers advice for dealing with children's difficult behavior and hot...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.