Question: How Do Guilt, Blame and Shame Figure into Our Parenting Approach?

The answer is, no surprise, they don't. Not for children. Not for Parents.

But let me explain. We honor those feelings when they appear. We don't recommend trying to make anyone, parent or child No-Blame-Shame-Guilt"feel" guilty shame or blame.

Just because you feel guilty, or in some case are "made" to feel guilty by someone else's behaviors or words, doesn't make it so, or real or any other scenario you can imagine where it is your fault. This triad of No Shame, No Blame, No Guilt is not just for your children, but for parents (and everybody) as well. If you feel guilty, look for the source of that feeling. Who in your past made you feel guilty and why. Somewhere along the line you bought it - hook line and sinker as they say.

It is not true. You are not "guilty". You did what you did. You may feel remorse. You may now see there was a better way. You may in hindsight see a lot of things. In fact, if you saw all this at the time, likely you would have chosen a different scenario. Remember that stress causes confused and distorted thinking and short term memory loss. We forget all our great parenting goals and desires when we are stressed. It happens to all of us. Every last one of us. Try not to willingly bring your feelings of guilt, shame or blame as a statement of who you are and why you do or don't deserve something or someone because of these feelings. That is all they are - just feelings. Powerful yes. Don't miss the point and end up pointing fingers at the one you think is pointing their finger at you.

The games of blame, shame and guilt are no-win games and eventually fade in the light of understanding and love. Unless we keep bringing them up.

We can hasten their disappearance - we just need to stop playing them. End of game. Now fill that hole or space with something that is real - like forgiveness, like understanding, like love.

It really saddens me to see any parent, let alone moms, who take most of the hits anyway, add more to their burdens. Please understand - you are not guilty. If you feel that, it will serve you to look for the source of those feelings. So yes, feel the guilt. Allow the experience without trying to push it away. That is only a delay of game penalty. It will be back. Don't feel guilty or bad about it, but consider it - and that this may be a stretch - a gift. Hold it in your experience as you would a very special present. Unwrap it to see just what it is, where you got it and why you carry it. There can be great freedom in moving into it rather than away from it. The same goes for your children. You can be the role model here. Show 'em how parents. Lead the way...

Choose Love,
-B

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