You ARE a Good Parent: Kicking Guilt to the Curb

“Why is my child hurting?”
“What am I doing wrong?”
“Is it my fault?”

If you’ve asked these questions, you’re not alone. The fact that you’re reading this blog affirms that you are a good parent, because you recognize issues, because you want to help, and because you are seeking answers.

girl rests forehead on dad's chest

Nevertheless, guilt is a common emotion experienced by many parents. It’s important not to let that guilt turn into shame. Remember: Everyone makes mistakes. At Decade2Connect, we believe a child wants three things things from you: Are you there, do you care and will you share? 

Here are some ways to show that you’re there, you care and you can share:

Reframe your Thoughts

Instead of letting guilt turn into shame, focus on learning from mistakes and finding solutions to improve in the future. While it’s uncomfortable, guilt can be a healthy motivator of change. Reframing your mindset to view guilt in this light will facilitate opportunities for growth.

son kisses dad on cheek

Practice Self-Compassion

You’re only human! Be kind and understanding towards yourself, just as you would be towards a friend in a similar situation. One mistake does not define you. And remember that your child learns by watching you. Practicing self-compassion on yourselves will show your child how they can be self compassionate towards themselves as well.

Seek Support

Talking to friends, family members or a therapist can help you process your feelings and find ways to cope. By leaning on others for support, you may receive a perspective you hadn’t thought of before and find your guilty feelings aren’t so scary after all.

group of 4 intergenerational women hug
women meditates on yoga mat

Prioritize Self-Care

Taking care of yourself helps you manage your emotions and reduce the negative impact of guilt on your well-being. Through activities such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies, you can help reduce stress and boost your well-being.

Let Go of Perfectionism

Striving for perfection is unrealistic – and impossible! Perfectionism only leads to ongoing feelings of guilt and shame. Instead, focus on doing your best and accepting that mistakes are a normal part of parenting.

son and mom hug

Remember: you’re doing the best you can. Your love and care for your child is what truly matters; and perfect parenting isn’t possible. The biggest growth in parenthood comes from learning from those mistakes.

Acknowledge imperfection and give yourself a break as you grow alongside your child: this is the key to parenting. As you walk the complex journey of parenting, our clinical team at Decade2Connect is here to support you. Connect with us to take the first step!

Our Intensive Outpatient Program is in-network with United!