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Accepting personal responsibility IS NOT the same as accepting blame for something.
But in the mind of someone with ADHD or ASD they’re often the same and this lack of distinction can be devastating for their self worth.
Let’s say, a child says or does something that’s related to their disability and indicates a skill gap or unmet need.
An adult concludes it was deliberate and that a consequence is required so the child learns to take “responsibility” for their actions.
I think of responsibility as personal ownership of your actions and the results they create (intended or unintended).
Blame, however, refers to you owning the full brunt of the negative outcomes from your actions and agree to feel bad about it.
Here’s the piece adults miss. Our kids are all or nothing thinkers.
You can tell them, “I’m not upset with you, I’m upset with your behavior” until you’re blue in the face but they don’t hear it, usually.
They hear, “I’m bad.” My behavior is me.
The kind of responsibility we want to empower our kids and ourselves with is this.
I accept that my actions have consequences, and some of them may by negative.
I also own my role in remedying any harm caused by those actions.
See how this is a far more solution focused approach?
You can correct your mistakes and learn from them without having to feel shame first.
The payoff is a happier child who comes to embrace trial and learning over, “I can’t”.