~ 31 Days of Parenting Teens & Tweens, Day 13 ~

Pointing-finger-300x199Parenting is swimming upstream, especially when you're countering culture.  There are so many pressures and "acceptances," it's easy to become desensitized to issues worthy of The Fight. 

Make no mistake, there is a battle for the heart of your child, and the world's allure is often irresistible. 

To me, it is often the little things that can cause the biggest tangle; the things that don't seem like such a big deal to most people.

Like assuming a victim mentality…

It's one of the mountains my husband and I have chosen to die on.  A victim mentality is one of THE most undesirable, unattractive character traits a person can have, but because of its prevalence in our culture, it's one we have to constantly battle.

Perhaps a victim mentality's biggest stronghold is many people don't even recognize it as a problem.

What do I mean by "victim mentality"?  Blaming everyone else for your shortcomings, failings and woes of your world.

So, how do you counter a victim mentality in your tween or teen?

  • When you see it manifested, point it out to your child.
    • My teacher didn't go over that in class (to explain a bad grade).
    • I didn't know Coach scheduled an extra practice (when everyone else showed up).
    • You didn't tell me you were washing clothes (on a school morning when he can't find anything within dress code to wear…and there's a pile of dirty laundry on his floor).
  • Help them understand how to assume responsibility for their own actions.
    • Easier said than done, especially for one who is accustomed to finger pointing and assigning blame.
    • Take every opportunity to illustrate examples when you spot a victim mentality in others or even on the news or tv.
  • Hold them accountable for their actions 
    • Allow natural consequences to run their course.
    • Don't makes excuses for them.
  • Make sure you aren't modeling a victim mentality yourself!

Addressing this and nipping it in the bud during your children's middle and high school years will shape them into a much more pleasant and responsible young adult; don't assume they'll grow out of it. 

Your turn:  Think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill?  Are there other "little things" that are mountains to you?  Do share in comments…I'm curious!


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