How to deal with your child’s excuses




Young children often resort to making excuses that are as innovative as they are funny. Like this little girl who complained to her parents one morning that her head hurt badly, alarming them a great deal. That was until they realized that the child was actually pointing at her tummy! It turned out that  she did not want to go to school for the day and quickly cooked up an excuse!

Little Ravi is a sweet little boy who is loved by all. His grandparents dote on him, neighbours cannot stop raving about what a wonderful boy he is, and his friends swear by his easy going ways and helping nature. But his teachers and parents who deal with him on a daily basis are beginning to suspect that little Ravi is being a little economical with truth lately.

Ravi is a wonderful kid with many sparkling qualities. But like the rest of us, he has a shortcoming too – nothing too serious at the moment but it could get a lot worse.

His parents and teachers have recognised his tendency to lie and are anxious to nip it in the bud. And they are right – a tendency to make one excuse too many can lead to serious problems.

  • Try getting even with a child and you will end up feeling odd

It is a tough job dealing with children as they are innovative and quick in their thinking. They are capable of coming up with excuses that often  leave their parents scratching their heads. Reason enough for us not to get into an argument with them – we stand no chance!

  • The job cannot be completed in a single day

Children make excuses, and even lie, to shift the blame on to others because they are worried about punishment. We must remember that corrective measures take time and patience to take effect. Do not confront them in the hope of reforming them in a day or two.

  • Do not lose your composure

Children when confronted about their behaviour come up with more excuses to cover up for the original excuse. Losing our composure will give them a chance to play the victim card and make the parents feel guilty, allowing them to effectively turn the table on us.

  • Appeal to their good sense

Sit with your child and discuss the issue. Find out why he/she finds it necessary to blame others for their action. Explain to them how blaming others is unfair and hurtful to others. Children have a strong sense of justice and they will realize the folly of their actions.

  • Use stories and real life situations

Drive home the point that being good and truthful is always rewarding using stories and folktales. Written narratives always have a great impact on young minds.

  • Finally, reaffirm your support

Most children resort to making excuses and taking liberties with truth when they are unable to cope with a given situation.

As parents, we must reassure them that no matter what the situation is, we are there to support them. But we must also make it clear to them, gently but firmly, that we expect them to be truthful and own up responsibility every single time.