It is completely normal to experience parent guilt when raising children. Whether your child is acting out, angry, upset all the time or if they have behavior problems, you might be asking yourself, “Am I a bad parent?” Don’t worry, you are not a bad parent and feeling guilty for anything your child does is part of the parenting passage. It’s almost as if the day you become a parent, you automatically take on this guilt and believe you are making mistake after mistake. Again, normal.
So, how do we stop shaming ourselves for everything and everything? Isn’t it time we give ourselves a pat on the back for being there, nurturing and loving our children unconditionally? Some kids don’t receive this love. Babies and kids need and crave love, nurturing and affection. They don’t arrive in this world needing expensive toys, clothes and video game consoles. Let’s stop placing more parent guilt on ourselves than we need to and become more proud of our accomplishments as parents. Because, if you’re a parent, you know there are rough days and great days. So, stop beating yourself up!
Stop the Blame Game
It is important not to dwell on things too much. Stop blaming yourself and take action. Parents who take action to help their child learn new and appropriate behaviors and who pay attention to their kid’s needs, are doing a pretty good job. The more you blame yourself, the more you will lose confidence in your parenting skills and tools. Stop the negative thought process and take charge, listen to your child’s needs and teach them what is and what isn’t acceptable.
Forgive Yourself for Mistakes
Every parent experiences guilt over mistakes they make. Most of us try to do what we know is best and go from there. When you make a mistake such as forgetting to pack your child lunch one day or if you missed their soccer game, don’t get down in the dumps about it. Being a parent is a busy gig and sometimes there are miscommunications and memory lapses. Apologize to your child so they understand how important it is for everyone to apologize when they hurt someone or make a silly mistake, then move on and work on your time management skills a bit more.
Learn to Let Go
Letting go of the parent guilt is important. The more you guilt you keep with you, the less constructive you will be as a parent. Realize that every parent, from the beginning of time, makes mistakes and has issues with their kids at one time of another. Look at it as a positive experience in your life, one that you would not trade for the world. Come on Mom and Dad, you’re doing the best you can, pat yourself on the back once in awhile.