We all make mistakes and that’s how we learn

This week a year two teacher approached me to discuss her concerns about a 7 year old girl in her class who will never admit that she has made a mistake and denies she has done things if she feels she may get in to trouble. She blames the other children for her behaviour and even said “He made me talk” about a child sat next to her in assembly in the morning. I have worked with this child’s parents to support them with the behaviour of her older brother who is eleven. I have met with them together several times and have been impressed by their commitment to do this as they sometimes rearrange their work schedules to do this. However, one of the things that I noticed during our first meeting was that they both blamed each other for things, saying things like “you’re too soft” or “you always give in to him”. It struck me how difficult it must be for the children in their family to learn to take responsibility for their own behaviour, when the opposite is being modelled for them. I was therefore not surprised to learn that this was evident at school. How can we expect children to take responsibility for their own behaviour and admit they have made a mistake when the adults in their family are not demonstrating this?   

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