If you’re constantly beating yourself up as a parent, it’s likely that you’re feeling powerless to change your child’s behavior — and ill-equipped for the job. But trust me, it’s normal to feel uneasy or uncomfortable with some of the choices you make as a parent. At some point, it’s important to move past those feelings of inadequacy and guilt and look for information and tools that will give you the sense that you’re taking charge and addressing the problem. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s just easier to blame ourselves, someone else, or something else as opposed to looking for solutions and then working to put them into play.
Some parents do get ‘stuck’ in their feelings of powerlessness; usually, the more they label themselves a “failure” the more discouraged they become. No one can stop you from dwelling on mistakes, but at the end of day it won’t lead to any kind of change. In The Total Transformation, James Lehman talks about how most of us are “good enough” parents with good intentions for what we want for our children. When you start to identify areas of weakness, I know that can be overwhelming. (At first, you might feel like your list is endless!)
In my opinion, if you’re in this situation, you have two options: you can continue to take parenting shortcuts which may solve the short-term problem or you can pick a place to start and take small steps. There is no shame in that. Driven by our love for our children, we grapple with the tremendous responsibility to nurture our kids in a way that allows them to thrive. Mistakes are a valuable piece in that process; each one you make lends itself to uncovering what will work better next time around. Remember, it’s just as essential that you acknowledge your own successes as well as praising your child for their efforts.
Personally, becoming a mom has given me the opportunity to face a whole new brand of challenges that have definitely shaken me out of the cozy and familiar lifestyle I enjoyed pre-kids. In fact, it took awhile to bolster myself up to take the leap into the vast and unpredictable world of parenting! One thing I work on is identifying, storing up and investing my strengths in my “momma bank” so that I can make a withdrawal on the rainy days. This gives me momentum to move through the rough patches. I wanted to remind all you parents out there that if you haven’t made any deposits in your own bank lately, take some time and recognize what you’ve done as a parent that was difficult for you and celebrate that.
Please feel free to share a recent shining moment in your parenting experience. It doesn’t matter how big or small — each positive step is a step, after all.