Life & Mind Psychology offer family counselling services to parents in Sutherland Shire who are experiencing ‘parenting guilt’.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard parents beating themselves up about all the things they are doing ‘wrong.’
I’m concerned when I hear that, because I know how much distress and anguish this self-criticism causes. Being a parent is hard enough without added judgment from oneself.
Guilty parenting can also be a vicious cycle. The more guilt is experienced, the more distressing parenting becomes, and the harder it then is to be an effective parent, which then produces more guilt.
The best way to shake this guilt is to practice a non-judgemental stance. You can do this by not constantly evaluating what you do as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Instead, try using words like ‘helpful’ or ‘unhelpful.’ Don’t judge your judging either. If you catch yourself judging, you can simply notice it, and let it go – imagine it is like a leaf floating down a stream.
Parenting is the hardest job there is in life, and there is no formal training. Parenting is not about being perfect, it is about the ‘70% rule’ – 70% of the time you will live up to your expectations, and 30% of the time you won’t. You’re human. And you can learn to be ok with that. Try and use each difficulty as a learning opportunity, and feel proud of yourself for doing the best you can in each moment.
The less you judge yourself, the easier it is for you to be an effective parent, and make any necessary changes, not to mention get more joy out of parenting.