Many habits start at home. It’s easier to create a habit… good or bad… with the people you spend the most time with. This includes the habit of blaming. Getting a hold of the habit and nipping it in the bud at home will help you avoid blame when you are in your community. Likewise, helping your children master the art of being part of the solution rather than blaming can help them be better employees, colleagues, and teammates.

It’s worth the effort to break the blame game habit in your family.

Pay attention to the amount of blame going on at home It’s usually easier to recognize other people laying blame on one another. Pay attention to how your family addresses conflict and how easily they lay blame on someone else.

Commonly, siblings tend to cast blame easily which can be considered tattling or sometimes being manipulative to avoid being in trouble or get someone into trouble. Pay close attention to how you address conflict too. Do you assign blame to your children or spouse? Pay attention to phrases like “you always” or “you never” as these are phrases that create blame.

Sort things out rather than cast blame.

When conflict arises, do your best to sort things out without laying blame. Instead of using a phrase like “Why did you do that?” try a phrase like “Why do you suppose that happened?” This allows for problem-solving without someone having to be ‘wrong.’ If your children come to you blaming one another for a problem, simply refuse to react to the he said, she said aspect of it. Instead try redirecting the issue by saying something like- “There seems to be a problem here, what do we need to do to fix this?” This takes the blame out of the situation and refocuses it on what to do rather than who did what. Teaching your children to problem solve rather than blame will help them inside and outside of the home.

Be a role model for your family and friends.

The more aware you become to blame-based language and start to resolve conflict without blaming, the more people will notice. People will experience you as fair and easy to get along with and you may see an increase in your interpersonal relationships. Be a role model for your family and friends by avoiding blame and doing your best to redirect blame into problem-solving.

The blame game usually starts at home. Break the habit and you’ll have fewer messes to clean up between family members and you’ll be teaching essential skills your family can use in the community.