Why Do You Like Feeling Guilty?

dad coach parent coach parenthood lessons parenting parenting help Jan 23, 2024
Why Do You Like Feeling Guilty

Why Do You Like Feeling Guilty? - I talked with a client about her toddler in a call with my moms' group. When we started together, she felt guilty about how things were going (fighting, yelling, frustration, etc). Eventually, she realized that part of turning things around was putting her daughter in childcare to get a break, which made her feel guilty. After a few months of working with me, things got much better. She was enjoying their time together and didn't need the break as much, so she kept her daughter home more…which she felt guilty about. Having no childcare over the holidays led to no alone time, slipping back into power struggles, and not staying neutral, which she feels guilty about. But, since the break was only a few weeks, she'd feel guilty if she had taken alone time, AND she felt guilty for being unable to white-knuckle it through the break… 

This mama works so hard to turn everything into a reason to feel guilty! So I asked: 

Why do you like feeling guilty?

Her reply? "I hate feeling guilty! I have felt guilty my whole life - I grew up in a shame-based family and felt pulled between who I really am and who I was supposed to be. I've done a lot of work to leave that shame behind."

Can You Relate - Guilty

Can you relate to this mom's story, her work to move past it, and her continued feelings of guilt? Me too! Despite all our work, for lots of us, what lingers is a habit of feeling and using guilt as a tool. Guilt kept us safe as kids, so part of us LIKES guilt - it's associated with safety. 

Why did this happen to us, and how can we make sure it doesn't happen to our kids?

Guilt tools can develop when a child feels the need to choose between being themselves and being loved.

So we have two tasks - leave our own prisons of guilt and raise our kids in ways that won't recreate that prison for them. This is what I do. 

I teach parents how to give their kids permission to be themselves and demonstrate that no matter their choices, they can never lose their parents' love. My clients learn to healthily agree to disagree without having to win, receive their kids with love and acceptance when they make bad choices, and hold boundaries non-punitively. 

And I help my clients give themselves the message they missed as kids: you don't have to choose between being yourself and being good and loved. The more this sinks in, the more we can be ourselves as parents. Now, when this mama has an intuitive idea that she needs space from her child at this moment, she can see that following her intuition IS being herself and that being herself IS being a good parent—no guilt is required.

Ready to Leave Guilty Parenting? 

Ready to leave guilty parenting behind and raise kids who know they're loved for who they are? Set up a Discovery Call with me today, where I will learn about your challenges and goals, create a roadmap to get you there and help you decide if working with me is the vehicle you want to take on that journey. I can't wait to meet you! 

Learn more about group parent coaching here. 

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P.S. Remember! It's not too late to join the beta version of the Dad's Group! All this month, I'm offering special founder's pricing and benefits to new group members, and it all starts with a Discovery Call where I learn about your family and parenting goals and help you decide if the group is right for you. If you're a dad looking to parent with confidence and independence, to take initiative to manage your child's behavior, and to create a healthy parent-child relationship, you belong with us! Click that button to set up your consultation and lock in the founder's pricing.