Mommy and Daddy guilt seem to become inherent emotions mysteriously transferred through some sort of osmosis to men and women as soon as they become parents. Guilt, along with other unpleasant emotions like stress and anger are really self defeating and energy draining emotions. Anger can impair your judgment and end up rewarding a child with whom you are in the midst of a pint sized power struggle. Guilt, however, can make you over compensate and when you are feeling like a less than perfect parent as you try to make up for your lack of perfection by giving in to your child.
A parents feeling of guilt can interfere with being a successful parent and damage your relationship with your children and their own emotional growth. It can also encourage your child to repeat unwanted behaviors. Learning how to cope with guilt is difficult, but doing so will increase your happiness as a person, partner and parent.
Because you are the one in control of your thoughts, and your thoughts control your emotions, it is reasonable to ascertain that you control how you feel. You control your happiness and joy, as well as your anger, fear and guilt. Resisting self defeating emotions takes patience and practice. It also requires the unwavering acceptance that you are an imperfect human being, just like everyone else.
All parents will be tempted to give in to self defeating emotions at times. Sometimes these reactions may seem spontaneous and impossible to control. You might still feel guilty and angry when your child has a tantrum in public. You may become discouraged if your son gets a failing report card. A certain amount of child misbehavior and aggravation is part of parenting and can be discouraging and frustrating.
However, you can practice controlling your feelings, replacing positive thoughts with negative thoughts which will help you to avoid feeling guilty. Try to do the best you can considering all circumstances and remind yourself that. Try to set realistic goals and do not expect perfection from yourself. Do not think you are failure if you did not have the answer to a question or could not meet the need presented to you. You are human and should not let your disappointment keep you down. Do not dwell on your inadequacies. Think about the times you were successful. Encourage yourself just as you would one of your children!
Dr. Randy Cale, a Clifton Park-based parenting expert, author, speaker and licensed psychologist, offers practical guidance for a host of parenting concerns. His Web site, www.TerrificParenting.com,
, offers free parenting guidance and an e-mail newsletter.