Pleasant surprise yesterday as my 27-year-old daughter posted to Facebook. Here’s what she wrote (unedited):

Growing up, I remember my dad going through a time that he pointed it out every time we were blaming each other, make us refocus the attention to ourselves, & start over.

At the time it was super annoying, I was probably 8 & I just wanted to argue & blame my brother (after all it was HIS FAULT) all of us 4 kids (at the time) were guilty of it, & it probably drove my parents nuts.

Buuuuut that lesson stuck. Maybe not all throughout my adult life, but especially as a parent, I remember it. & I notice on the daily how often I blame other people, & I’m changing, I swear.

So my question is this: since I’m so often talking about monitoring our thoughts & subconscious, TODAY let’s monitor the Blame Game. Every time you start saying, “Well if you wouldn’t have done this..” or “Damnit, Janet didn’t do this & now…”

STOP. Shift focus.

Look at yourself. Look at your position. What could you have done to make the situation better, what CAN you do now? & then do it! I promise the relationships around you will begin to flourish & blossom 🌸 Betcha didn’t think I still thought about that, huh, pops!

At the time, we were working on how to stop blaming each other, and I was discouraged. It didn’t stick so well. Blame is such a compelling thing. Now, 19-years later, my daughter is not only getting it but encouraging others to get it as well. That feels pretty good.

As a younger parent, I often had the idea that I was parenting as much for the here-and-now as for the future. I tried to imagine the effects of my decisions on my kids when they would be 30 years old. What would they think then? When struggling with what kids tend to do, I’ve reminded myself over and over: This is a phase. They will grow out of it. Try to do the right thing anyway and it will all come together someday, somehow.

This is the hope of every parent. It usually works out in the end. Here’s to you on your journey to raise self-aware, responsible kids!