Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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My Four Least Favorite Words

on March 8, 2010

Of  late in my household, there are four words that I have grown to really dislike: It’s not my fault. It’s a familiar refrain heard all the time, especially by someone who’s guilty of something. What I’ve noticed about our culture, is alot of younger people (older people do it as well) refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions and it really pisses me off. It has to be something cultural, I think. ‘I’m sorry your honor, it’s not my fault, I didn’t make the gun, it’s the gun manufacturer’s fault that man died, he’s the one who made the gun’. No, I’m sorry, I don’t buy it.

He was already unhappy about riding the bus today. There were several kids goofing around on the bus on Friday, but my son was the one who was caught and got into trouble for it. He was upset because he wasn’t the only one, and I get that, but the other part of it is that if he’s messing around doing something he shouldn’t, he’s got to be prepared to deal with it. They were only throwing paper wads, but the bus driver didn’t know what they were throwing, all he knew is he saw my boy throw something. I explained that it’s his job to keep all of the kids safe and he’s in charge, he will do whatever he feels necessary to maintain control on the bus.

My children normally ride the bus to school, it arrives at 8:30.  At 8:15 this morning, my son announces he forgot to finish a report that’s due today. TODAY!  When I asked him how he forgot about this major report and why we didn’t work on it Friday, he said it was my fault for getting him excited about a friend coming over on Saturday. What??? I had to shut him down right there. It was not my paper that was due today, it was his. He knew he had to work on it, and yet he played all weekend and hung out with his friends as though he had no cares in the world. So, he quickly finished it and was worried about missing the bus. I told him I was more interested in the grade he was going to get on his paper, since he’s been struggling in this class. I also made sure he understood how unfair it is to blame someone for something they didn’t do, and he would definitely not appreciate it if it happened to him.

That was not the only time over the weekend he said the dread four words. He knocked a cup off of a table, making a bit of a mess. He stood there and pointed to it and said, ‘Ooops.’ As if he expected me to clean it up. I told him to clean it up. His response? “It’s not my fault, she put it too close to the edge of the table.’ I’m sorry, I don’t care what part of the table it’s on, if you knock it over,you clean it up. Simple as that. I told him to clean it up, you make a mess in my house, you clean it up, I”m not a maid.

He also used the four words in regard to hitting his sister. He was closing a door and she was closer to it than he thought, and it hit her. She was crying, but he said, “It’s not my fault.’ I’m sorry, but if you hit someone, even on accident, it’s your fault. Accept responsibility, apologize and move on.

This is not new in my home, accepting responsibility. I always encourage my children to be responsible for their actions, it’s what happens when they get into trouble, you have to be willing to deal with the consequences of your actions, positive or negative, so just be prepared for it before you throw the toy or hit someone, or get the praise for doing well. So, on our ride to school, I told both of them, I don’t want to hear those words coming from their mouths because it won’t fly. Deal with it and move on. I used the analogy of my running a stop light and telling the police officer it wasn’t my fault. I’d still get a ticket because whether I meant to or not, I ran the light. This whole culture of people not accepting responsiblity for their actions drives me absolutely insane. Man-up, deal with it and go on. Seriously!

So, if an airplane falls out of the sky, it’s not your fault. If someone runs a red light and crashes into you, it’s not your fault. But honestly, if you screw up, accept responsibility, deal with it and go on. Don’t blame someone else for your mistakes or short-comings, accept responsibility and move on. Just deal with it and don’t try to tell me it’s not your fault because I’m no buying!

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