You ARE a Good Parent: Kicking Guilt to the Curb

We talk to so many parents riddled with guilt:

“Why is my child hurting?”

“Is it my fault?”

“What am I doing wrong?”

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

Nevertheless, guilt is a common emotion experienced by many parents. It’s important to not let that guilt turn into shame and remember that everyone makes mistakes.  At Decade2Connect, we believe a child fundamentally wants three things from you: Are you there, do you care and will you share? Here are some ways to show you are there, that you care, that you can share and how to let go of the rest:

Reframe your ThoughtsInstead 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.
Practice Self-CompassionYou’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 SupportTalking 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.
Prioritize Self CareTaking 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 PerfectionismStriving 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.

Remember, you are doing the best you can. Your love and care for your child is what truly matters; perfect parenting isn’t possible. The biggest growth in parenthood comes from learning from those mistakes! Acknowledge imperfection and give yourself a break.

The most important reminder is that you’re not alone. Your feelings are valid and you are doing a great job. As you walk the complex journey of parenting, our clinical team at Decade2Connect is here to support you. Simply connect with us to take the first step!

Our Intensive Outpatient Program is in-network with United!