• Jessica Diaz

Teaching kids to take responsibility for their actions in 4 steps

+ tips for parents


FREE PRINTABLE (just scroll down)



If any of these phrases sound familiar, your kid may need an intervention when it comes to taking responsibility for his (or her) actions:


  • Tom made me do it!

  • It’s not my fault!

  • I only did it because you…

  • You didn’t tell me!


Can you tell what all these phrases have in common? Yep. They all shift blame to someone else. In order for our kids to be the amazing people we know they are meant to be, they need to be able to take responsibility for their actions. So, in this post we will cover the tips you need to help them do just that!


Related Blog Post: 6 Children's Books About Taking Responsibility for Your Actions



Prefer to watch instead of read? Click the video below.


It can be hard for kids to understand that we can’t control what other people do and that we are all responsible for ourselves and our own actions. We may find ourselves in difficult situations, but we always have power over one thing - how we choose to react. So, encourage your kids to remember these 4 steps in any situation…


1.) Don’t blame shift.


It can be tempting to say that someone else is responsible for whatever difficult situation we may find ourselves in. We may even believe it ourselves. But, blaming someone else isn’t going to help. It will probably just make them mad and defensive.


2.) Own your actions.


You can let you kids know that sometimes things so wrong. No one is perfect. Part of life is learning from the mistakes we have made. So, encourage your kids to take ownership of their actions.


3.) Choose to stay positive


We have control over our actions and how we choose to respond to things. So, if your kid has a tendency to reactive negatively right away, encourage him (or her) to take a moment before responding. In that moment lies the possibility of another choice, a better one. In that moment before responding, choose to stay positive.


4.) Learn from your experiences


If your child has made a mistake, ask what they could learn from the mistake that could help them do better next time. Thinking of mistakes or failures as learning experiences makes it a whole lot easier to try again. Life is a journey, we don’t have to get everything right the first time. The trick is to learn from our mistakes so that we can grow and do better over time.


Here is a video you can watch with your kids about taking responsibility:



Tips for parents…


Sometimes kids try to hide their mistakes because they are worried how we (the parents) will react. They may worry that we will be disappointed or upset. These tips can help:


1.) Be patient


2.) Remember that mistakes are a part of the learning process


3.) Don’t overreact


4.) Help your kids feel comfortable being honest


Related Blog Post:



Check out this free printable:




Other Posts You May Like:


Teaching Your Kids to Be Respectful in 5 Steps


5 Children's Books about Being Respectful


Teaching Kids to Prioritize


How to Get Your Kids to Listen




About the Author:



I am Jessica from Learning with Jessica Diaz. I have been a teacher for eight years and am a mother of two. I am always reading; I love learning new things! The advice I give you is made up of a combination of real life experience and years of reading! Hope you enjoy.

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