Children often copy what they see. How do you hold children accountable for their actions? Is this the parents’ job or the school’s job or should it be up to society? Where do children learn to act disrespectful and bullish?
Different classes of society act differently. This should not be the case. It doesn’t cost money to respect yourself or others. Children often copy what they see. If they see their parents or loved ones acting in a certain manner they may think it’s okay to act that way. Children may see other children or even older kids behaving poorly and copy their example. How do you hold the child accountable for his or her actions?
In order to hold a child accountable for his or her actions you must take an active role in the child’s life. If you are someone that sees a child act up on the street yelling at him or her may get the child’s attention but they won’t think anything of it when the people around them continue to let them do what they are doing.
You can still hold a child accountable for their actions in your presence, but it might not change what they do in the long run. It’s still worth trying to reach out to the child because you may be the only one that does.
Ways to hold a child accountable for his or her actions:
1. Acknowledgement – Acknowledge what the child did that was disrespectful, hurtful, harmful, or just wrong. Maybe the child has a conscience and you will help him or her be a better person. Let the child know you saw what he or she did and you think there are better ways to express displeasure or anger. Let the child know he or she has to take responsibility for their action.
2. Talk WITH the Child – In order to hold a child accountable for his or her actions, you need to talk with the child. Some children don’t have any idea why they did what they did. They may have done it because they saw it on television. Talk with the child and let them know that is not how to behave.
3. Punishment – Sometimes talking with a child is punishment enough. A child still has to be held accountable for his or her actions though. So for every action there must be a reaction. Depending on what the child did will depend on what the punishment is.
If you are a parent and the child imitated television you may want to take away television until your child knows the difference between make believe and real life. If you are watching television with your child maybe you need to reconsider what you are allowing your child to watch.
If you are a teacher, time outs are good and if that is a constant situation then you need to involve the guidance counselor or the principle. Hopefully, one of them will do their job. The counselor should offer direction for the child or be there for the child to talk to. The principle will need to have punishment in place such as detention, suspension, or expulsion.
Children should be held accountable for their actions so as they get older they will know right from wrong. Parents can’t be the only one held accountable. Society has to say, okay your parent didn’t do this, you did. The child needs to be held accountable and understand consequences.