Many parents feel guilt from time to time. You may feel you should be doing things differently. You might believe you’re not coping, or that you could be doing better. This is quite a common feeling, and it’s natural to want to do the best for your children.
The challenges you’re facing as a parent are new and difficult. Many parents feel the same way, even if they don’t talk about it.
Think about where your guilt is coming from. Is it something out of your control? If it’s something you can change, think about what you can reasonably do.
If you can’t control the situation, accept that you’re feeling guilty and that’s part of being a parent. Label the feeling as guilt and move on from it. Fighting it wastes energy and can affect your behaviour towards others.
The happier you are, the happier you will be with your children. Ask yourself:
Reflect on the positives and highlight successes, big and small. At the end of the day, share one thing that’s gone well. Write it in a notebook. Or put up a board and have everyone write one thing they’ve learned that day.
This can help you take more notice of the good things, and appreciate what each day has given you.
Seeing other families doing well on social media can make you feel guilty. But remember that people only post the good. You might see them in the park. But they probably won’t post about 30 minutes they spent trying to get their toddler to put shoes on.
If helpful, limit how much you use social media. It might be useful to have a ‘clear out’ of the people you are following or friends with. If deleting someone is not an option, you can mute or hide their posts without them knowing.
Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. Sometimes even just doing this and sharing experiences can help. If certain aspects feel hard, are there any changes you could make to help things feel easier?
Want more support? For advice on your specific issue, speak to one of our parenting coaches.
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