27 Strategies to Help Learners Who Blame Themselves for Things Beyond Their Control

Are you looking for strategies to help students who blame themselves for things outside of their control? If so, keep reading.

1. Show the student that they should be happy with their best effort rather than perfection.

2. Praise the student for accepting errors that they make.

3. Talk with the student to explain(a) what they are doing wrong (e.g., being overly critical of themselves) and (b) what they must be doing (e.g., being more constructive in self-criticism when evaluating themselves).

4. Reward the student for accepting the errors they make.

5. Draft an agreement with the student stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., accepting their best effort) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

6. Assess the appropriateness of the task to ascertain (a) if the task is too easy, (b) if the task is too complicated, and (c) if the duration of time scheduled for the task is sufficient.

7. Praise the student for improvement rather than expecting excellence.

8. Recognize the student often and in several settings (e.g., hallways, cafeteria, etc.).

9. Give the student positive feedback that indicates they are successful, competent, essential, valuable, etc.

10. Give the student success-oriented tasks (i.e., the expectation is that success will result in more positive attitudes and perceptions toward self and their environment).

11. Give the student many chances for social and academic success.

12. Make the appropriate adjustments in their surroundings to prevent the student from experiencing stress, frustration, etc.

13. Select a peer to help the student with class tasks, homework, etc.

14. Place emphasis on individual differences, understanding that everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

15. Minimize the emphasis on competition and perfection. Repeated failure may result in unwarranted self-blame or self-criticism.

16. Urge the student to refrain from comparing their performance to other students’ performances and emphasize personal improvement (e.g., keep records of their own progress rather than comparing their work to others).

17. Give the student evidence of their capacity and ability in order that they might better understand that self-blame/criticism is unwarranted.

18. Provide praise and constructive criticism continuously to all students.

19. Minimize learning activities that might threaten the student (e.g., announcing test scores aloud, making students read aloud in class, emphasizing the success of the same student(s), etc.).

20. Ask the student a question when they will most likely be able to answer correctly.

21. Get the student to regularly record their own progress to have concrete evidence of success.

22. Urge the student to be a peer tutor so they may recognize their own strengths and abilities.

23. On occasions where accidents happen, make “cleanup” a group responsibility to express the idea that we all make mistakes and accidents are common to all of us.

24. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

25. Consider using a socio-emotional learning app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

26. Consider using an emotional intelligence app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

27. Consider using a school counseling app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

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