Whose Fault Is It Anyway?


Families searching to understand their child’s inappropriate behavior are often blocked from solutions by the effort to establish blame. Determining whose fault it is often controlled by inaccurate information, biased explanations, emotionally charged thinking, a child’s history and possibly, a sophisticated protagonist (among other possibilities). Effective solutions are more easily developed by focusing on the event, understanding how frequently it occurs, evaluating how it has been handled in the past, defining what has been effective, and trying a different plan the next time it occurs. Since any important behavior has happened more than once, it will likely happen again, giving you a number of opportunities to evaluate your intervention. Evaluating a situation involves examining all the players and variables involved. Your own parenting techniques, the ways your child thinks, processes information and expresses himself, events preceding and following the event, time of day, stress from other school and social events, illness, fatigue…. (and the list goes on), are all possible components of the behavioral event. The important goal for this type of retrospective analysis is to find patterns which can then lead you to change; starting with self reflection is probably the most expedient first step.

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