Brock Allen Turner was convicted of raping an unconscious young woman behind a Dumpster, and this white college athlete only received 6 months in jail, rather than the 14-year maximum sentence he could have received. Seems as if the judge agreed with the letter written by Turner’s father that made excuses and defended his son’s actions. Like father, like son : Clearly the father continues to teach his son his own character flaws.

As I write in Self-Acceptance Psychology, many people have what I term “Other-Blaming” behavior. These types of people lack accountability for their actions. They tend to blame others, make excuses, defend their wrong behaviors. We all know people like this.

“Other-Blaming” behavior is based on their feelings of low self-worth or inadequacy. When they feel criticized their preferred response is to lash out in anger at others, rather than understand their shameful behavior, become introspective and change their behaviors. 

Sadly, a parent with poor shame tolerance can certainly teach a child to behave the same way by continually not holding him accountable for his actions throughout his upbringing.

Which has clearly happened in this case. A person who lacks accountability will certainly believe it is OK to commit a crime, because he’s learned that he gets excused from his poor behaviors.

The father’s letter notes how his son is not eating and is nervous and deferential — new behaviors for him. Well, that’s as it should be!  When one behaves shamefully, one should exhibit feeling ashamed. Yet, the father clearly had never experienced his son acting this way — probably because he never held his son accountable!  The father, certainly, also does not like to be held accountable, because just watching his son’s experience of shame seems to cause him such discomfort. 

Parents: Hold your children accountable, starting at an early age. You are doing them no favors by letting them get away with bad behavior. Teaching responsibility for personal actions is essential for raising an emotionally and socially healthy person. 

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