Teen Tip: Take Responsibility for Your Actions

In a situation that hasn’t gone well, take responsibility for your actions. Don’t give excuses. Don’t blame the referee or the coach. Don’t place the burden on a friend. Don’t decide it was the teacher’s fault. Acknowledge how you contributed to the problem and how you can do better in the future. 

Who’s to Blame?

Shifting blame to others is natural, but it’s not a very productive way to live. Let’s play a little game to see if we can find a way to take responsibility for our actions in a given situation. 

Instead of blaming a coach for your lack of playing time…

try figuring out what you can improve on to get the results you want. 

Instead of blaming a loss on a referee…

look at what you could have done in the game to change the outcome. 

Instead of blaming a teacher for a poor grade…

notice where you have fallen short.

Realize that you have the power to make better choices and get better outcomes. If you can see your role and take responsibility then YOU have the power to change it and make it better. 

Every now and then, something is truly unfair, which is also part of life. If you see a real gap or problem, work for solutions instead of just complaining. 

A Slam Dunk for Coach

One basketball team was really struggling to come together. The coach decided to teach the team the manner “Take Ownership of Your Mistakes” from 52 Modern Manners for Today’s Teens. The team had been plagued by players, parents, and even coaches pointing fingers and feeling entitled. As he talked to the girls and parents about the idea of taking responsibility for their actions, they committed to talking about things they could personally change and improve on. After some self-reflection, this new way of doing things completely turned the team around. Not only did they start winning but the improvement in every area, including how people felt about the team completely changed for the better. 

Teach Kids How To Take Responsibility for Their Actions

When a young kid tries to blame someone else for something that has occurred, help them see their part in the problem and how they might be able to take ownership of where they have gone wrong. This is a tough lesson for even some adults to learn but the earlier we can teach our kids, the better! 

With teens, talk about a time when they felt things didn’t go well and blamed others. Help them find ways they could have improved the situation. Share a time when you could have done better too.

A Note for Adults

As parents, we can do a much better job of helping our kids take responsibility for their actions. We can stop making excuses for them and blaming others on their behalf.

We can also take ownership of our OWN mistakes and let them see that perfection is not required in this life. Growth comes through honestly seeing our faults and becoming better.

Do you want more Modern Manners in Your Home or Classroom?

Buy the book! It has changed the lives of over 100,000 families and significantly improved connection and communication between parents and teens! In the book, you’ll get 52 tips for teens including how to check on your friends and tips for going to a friend’s house. The book is easy to display and a great conversation starter for kids of all ages. 

Leave a Comment

How do you teach this manner in your home? Is this something teens or adults struggle with more?