Accountability – a lesson in “I didn’t do it.” Which, most likely, we’ve established already that you didn’t do it, so let’s see whose fault that is. (If you click that link it takes you to my most popular post ever, also about owning things)
Not to pick on her, but just as the example, J (my teenager) said this the other night (in the midst of her getting in trouble for not listening – this was NOT the whole conversation):
J: “So you’re saying everything is my fault?”
Me and D: “YES.”
J: (throws her hands up, buries her face in her hands and the tears roll) “Of course, it’s ALWAYS my fault.”
Now, any unseasoned, first time raising a teenager parent MAY buy this crock, but we have been here…recently. D’s daughter tried this one on us last summer…it didn’t go well for her either. Unfortunately (or fortunately for her future) J used an old, tired line on parents that had heard it before and were prepared to show her the error of her thinking ways.
If we’re going to leave things out of the conversation, and you are going to tell half truths then yes, everything is your fault. If we’re going to speak truthfully, then once I have voiced what it is I want, or need, or expect, and you CHOOSE not to do it, yes, everything after that point is your fault. Either way, yep, your fault. Not mine. Let’s explore.
Back to the conversation, J was talking with D and I about things that she “didn’t like” about living here…this is what she told us she voiced to her father during their visit over spring break:
- they make me go to my room to do my homework so I don’t “bother” them while they are working
- they yell at me
- they cuss at me
MAN, I am so out of line…we SUCK as parents. Case closed, bag it up, she wins! Or not. Nice try whipper-snapper. As we all know, there are two sides to each story, and just as I did with our sadly
mistreated mistaken child, I will enlighten you all on the whole truth she cleverly omitted in her crusade for sympathy. Sidenote: Omission is lying. If you can’t tell the whole truth because it doesn’t help your case, then it is lying.
- After several attempts to curb her wandering (to the tv) eyes, and get her to focus not on the dog, or snacks, or laughing or talking while she is doing her homework, we informed her that in order for her to get her work done faster, and so that we don’t have to interrupt our work (we both work from home), she needs to go to her room where she can do her homework undisturbed, and get it done faster.
- Her claim is that we yell…at her. I admit it, and I did to her, however, when I’ve asked her 2 times to pick up her socks, or put away the dishes, or bring the cups down from her room, and she has REFUSED to respond to my calm, nice request, I do yell. Gasp. Oh hush. I yell sometimes because she has an ipod blaring in her upstairs room and she pretends, as she does when she’s in the same room with you, that she didn’t hear you. So, when I yell, guess what? She miraculously hears me. I also have been told I yell, but you can ask D, it’s more of a “raised tone of voice” – if I yelled, the entire row of condo’s would clean up their dishes. My mom yelled, I turned out fine.
- Her claim is that we curse…at her. (See above claim) Ok, so again, not perfect here, I’ll own it. Let me finish that sentence for her…”they cuss at me – WHEN I HAVE NOT DONE WHAT I WAS ASKED TO THE FIRST TIME.” –Example: 1st time) J, when you are done with that level (on Wii Mario), take your plate in the kitchen and put away the stuff you used. 2nd time – 5 minutes later) J, that game is over now, do what I said, I don’t want to have to turn the game off. 3rd time – 5 more minutes) J, stop what you are doing, get off your butt and take your dishes in the kitchen, and put away the chocolate milk stuff on the damn counter. Now, forgive me, I am wrong. What I should do (so as not to “cuss at her”) is unplug the Wii and say nothing more after she refused to do it the first time. I should, but I think that is overkill. I’m trying to teach life lessons here, she needs to learn how to think “oh, I’m supposed to stop for a minute, do what I was asked and then I can resume my activity.” I believe she is learning that, because she hears and does it when I get serious, and because she does not like being cussed at. Or, she could just do it the first time and we’d all be good to go.
I am now going to make a very conscious effort to not curse or yell, she’s not going to like how creative I am. I do want her (and others) to realize that if she plans on working any job, she’s going to have to deal with people like me that yell, and curse, and stick her in a cubicle so she can’t be social and talk with her co-workers. And they won’t love her as much as I do, and she won’t get any warnings, they will just fire her. Maybe she’ll listen the first time then?
Let’s stop picking on my baby girl, because, as we all know, she ain’t the only innocent bird being blamed in this “who-done-it” mystery.
Grown adults are still trying to use this excuse. GROWN ADULTS. This mindset of “it’s not my fault” is running rampant in society. We live in a world where you don’t have to own your failures, mis-fires, unfinished work, relationships, marriages. Poor you, you were so mistreated, you don’t deserve that, you’re a good person, you’re so misunderstood, what a mean bitch, what an ass, I’m sure you did all you could, blah blah blah. Waaaaaaaaaaah!!!! (Insert Snooki voice)
GET OVER YOURSELF.
D and I have heard both of our ex’s say these words “so it’s MY fault?” Gee, I wonder where the kids got that from? Yes, genius, it’s YOUR fault our child is failing Algebra because you won’t make her go to tutoring instead of cheerleading practice. It’s YOUR fault you didn’t see your child more than 4 weeks out of the last 52, was I supposed to call you and remind you it was your weekend, drive to the exit and hope you were there? It’s YOUR fault she is emotionally in an uproar because you won’t take her or let me take her to the counseling appointment. It’s YOUR fault you don’t get her when you do want her because you call 1 day before and expect that we have no plans. It’s not just our kids who don’t claim their wrongdoings!!!!!
We are in a time where no one wants to take the blame for the crap they are dealing with. The repo man is here to get your car? But I paid that bill!!!! (That tv show urks me) If you paid it, he wouldn’t be hauling your car away. Cheaters, another tv show, full of yelling, tears, fights, and TONS of excuses…you work all the time, you’re never home, I never get what I need from you. Well welcome to the club. If you don’t get what you need, get out. You are the only one who can make people treat you correctly. Television shows what kind of society we live in, it’s full of excuses on what we are entitled to, and what we have “put up with” and how we don’t deserve it, and of course, how WE didn’t do it.
Your life, and what happens in it, is solely your responsibility. If you take that responsibility seriously your entire life, friends, relationships, jobs, and the way others treat you will change dramatically. If YOU are the one who calls the shots and it is only up to YOU what happens in your life, then you won’t have to come up with excuses and blame and ride the “woe is me” train. Why is it up to ANYONE but you to make sure you are doing the things you are supposed to? Newsflash!!!!!!!!! It’s not, unless you are a kid, and as I said earlier, that is only for a short period of time until you get to the real world.
Big Daddy knows I’m not at all the apologizing type, I don’t think the words “I’m sorry” know how to be formed in my mouth. However, if you are accountable and can say “man, I dropped the ball on that one, I totally didn’t do what I was supposed to,” people will understand. No one wants to hear how your alarm didn’t go off, you ran out of gas, or you just forgot, or how no one told you, or “it’s ALWAYS my fault.” If you’ve said any of those things, ever, guess who’s fault it was. Yep. You won’t believe how much more understanding people are that you are human when you admit to being at fault for something.
Why? Because we all screw up. Not one of us is without fault. We are all forgiven for those faults because of what Jesus did on the cross for us, however, in order to receive that pardon, you have to admit you aren’t perfect and you are a sinner and can’t do it without Him.
You must be accountable in your responsibilities, your actions and words, and your goals. There is no one that wants and can attain those things for you, but you (and God). Even God doesn’t believe your crap, because He won’t give it to you unless you work for it. If He can see through your lame excuses that’s all that matters, you might be able to fool the rest of us (not me), but you aren’t fooling Him.
I could go on here, I was going to touch on many more aspects of what not to do when you realize something isn’t going your way, but let’s work on one thing at a time.