The excuse: "I got confused" - FamilyEducation
The excuse: "I got confused"
09/21/2010 at 11:31 AM

9 yo daughter uses "I got confused" for everything from why she didn't pick up her room to why the light was left on to why she got a C on a math paper! It's driving me nuts, anyone have a creative way to curtail this? I know in the grand scheme of things it's probably just a bad habit but I've tried a few things to no avail.

First figure out if she just found an excuse that worked or if she really does get confused. She may have sequencing issues. If she does, she is more frustrated than you are, and there are strategies for dealing with it.

I agree with the other post. I have been trying to no avail,to get my son with LD to lift the seat before using the toilet for about 5 years. He really does just forget the sequence of events to use. I can't just tell him to pick up his room, I have to give him specific tasks like 1) put your toys in the toy box, 2)put your shirts in the middle drawer, 3)put your books on the shelf. Don't just give a general task, it's too overwhelming. Break it into short lists of things. Be patient, she probably does get confused.

If your daughter has a history of struggling with her school work she may have a undetected learning disorder and she can be tested to know for sure. However, even if she does have a LD, if the "I got confused" becomes her automatic answer for every situation, this may become a negative behavior pattern for dealing with her problems that you'll want to address now to spare her and the family unneeded stress. Patterns are developed by experiencing a situation the same way over and over. Therefore, the most effective way to break a behavior pattern is to return to the same situation and experience it in a different way. Eventually she'll learn to do this for herself, but for now she'll need your help. When she forgets to turn out the light have her return to her room and turn out her light. Many children struggle with cleaning their room, especially if it has become very messy. It's difficult for some children to be organized in their thought processing. Basically, they don't know where to start. An adult may feel a need to write out a list when they have a lot to accomplish for the day. Children benefit from this as well. For cleaning her room, I would suggest: Writing out on an index card a step-by-step procedure to follow for each task such as: "CLEANING MY ROOM" 1. Pick up all books and put into book shelf. 2. Put my dirty clothes in hamper. 3. ...... 4 ...... 5. Always turn out light before leaving room. This will help develop her organizational skills (and eliminate her excuses for not getting it done.) That's a win-win!! You sound like a wonderful mother and I wish you great success, Jeannine