Why Do Students Make Excuses

Why Do Students Make Excuses? Help Students Become Confident and Responsible

Excuses are a natural part of life. Children, just like adults, use them to explain away things they don’t want to do or to justify their actions. While it’s normal for children to make excuses, it can also be a problem if it becomes a habit. Children who often make excuses may struggle to take responsibility for their actions and find it difficult to reach their full potential. In this article, we will explore why children make excuses and what parents and caregivers can do to help them avoid making excuses.

Not Taking Responsibility

One of the primary reasons why children make excuses is to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Children often view making excuses as a way to protect themselves from getting into trouble or facing the consequences. This can be especially true when faced with a task or situation they don’t want to do.

SpellingStars Program Tip: We try to help students learn to be responsible by offering "completion" points for games and practice and many chances to get the words right including hints.  We also offer trophies for students that get progressively harder to earn to encourage kids to keep putting in just a bit more effort.  It is also a flexible system because teachers can assign lists to individual students.  This puts teachers in control of their entire classroom.

Students May Lack Confidence

Another reason why children make excuses is that they lack confidence. Children who don’t believe in themselves may make excuses to avoid taking on new challenges or to avoid failure. This can be a vicious cycle, as children who make excuses will have fewer opportunities to succeed, which can further undermine their confidence.

SpellingStars Program Tip: Help students become confident by creating lists that are best suited for your student.  We believe that teachers know best, so if you feel that your student only needs five words or they need 30 words, that's entirely up to you.  Spelling Stars is a tool for teachers to create individual, group or classroom spelling lists. 

Students Don’t Want to Appear Incompetent

A third reason why children make excuses is that they want to maintain their image in front of others. Children may make excuses to avoid admitting that they made a mistake, or to avoid appearing incompetent.

SpellingStars Program Tip:  Students get privacy by logging in to their own account with the words you've assigned to them.  They can practice or play games as much as they like so there are no barriers to learning.  You can even record your own voice for words and sentences. 

Help Students Grow

Model Positive Behavior

To help children avoid making excuses, parents and caregivers can take several steps. Firstly, it’s important to model positive behavior. Children often learn by watching the people around them, and if we make excuses, children will learn that behavior. By demonstrating positive behavior, such as taking responsibility for their actions and admitting mistakes, parents and caregivers can help children understand the importance of being accountable.

The ‘I Can Do It’ Flowchart

Develop Confidence

Secondly, parents, teachers and caregivers can help children develop confidence. This can be done by encouraging children to take on new challenges and by celebrating their successes, no matter how small. Children who feel confident in their abilities are less likely to make excuses, as they believe in themselves and their abilities.


Thirdly, it’s important to have open and honest conversations with children about the consequences of making excuses. Children need to understand that making excuses is not an acceptable way to avoid responsibility, and that it can have negative consequences, such as decreased credibility and trust. By explaining the impact of making excuses, parents, teachers, and caregivers can help children understand the importance of taking responsibility for their actions.

Allow Students to Take Responsibility

Finally, it’s important to provide children with opportunities to practice taking responsibility. For example, parents and caregivers can encourage children to admit mistakes and to work to fix it. This can be a powerful lesson for children and can help them avoid making excuses in the future.

In conclusion, making excuses is a natural part of life, but it can also be problematic. Children make excuses for a variety of reasons, including to avoid taking responsibility, to protect their image, and because they lack confidence. Parents, teachers and caregivers can help children avoid making excuses by modeling positive behavior, developing confidence, having open and honest conversations, and providing opportunities to practice taking responsibility. By helping children understand the importance of being accountable and taking responsibility, we can help children become successful.