When children always have excuses for not doing
well, the excuses are usually exactly what are causing the problem. They are
usually right. They say they did not know what to do or did not understand.
They say they forgot to do their work or say they thought they had done it
right. They say they did not hear, and on and on. After a while, their excuses
wear thin. It is easy for adults to get frustrated and just react. A better
reaction is to take your youngster at his word. It is probably the truth.
Listen to your child’s excuse. Say, “I
believe you. What you told me is exactly what happened. I also want you to
learn the difference between an excuse and a reason. A reason is an
explanation. An excuse makes it sound like it was okay. Your not doing well is
not okay. Now that you understand the reason, we are going to figure out a way
to keep it from happening. You say you did not do well because you did not hear
the assignment. Let’s talk about how to be sure you hear and understand
Just be sure you stay calm and focused on the
reason. It is a problem to solve and not an excuse for you to blame your child.