When our children's behaviour is difficult, we can quickly feel like it's our fault, and like we're failing somehow. I just wanted to remind you that you are NOT.
There are dozens of reasons for us to lift the pressure from ourselves if we notice feelings of failure or self-criticism around our role as a parent. But here are 5:
1. No parenting "strategy" will "work" all - or even most - of the time. Most recommended “strategies” aim to benefit your child’s behaviour & emotional development in the long-term. So, if it doesn't "fix" the situation immediately, that's not a failure. (And don't forget - all kids are different, and nothing works for everyone).
2. Even if we do lose it, that's ok! Our children benefit from seeing us have emotions & get things "wrong". They learn how to apologise & repair - & that your relationship is strong enough to withstand these moments. They learn emotions are normal, & safe. They learn how to be human.
3. It’s not our fault if we lose our temper sometimes, or handle things in ways we wish we hadn’t. Our brains are wired up to react emotionally & automatically in stressful moments. When we’re under long-term stress, our brain does this even more. I can't say this enough: it’s not our fault.
4. No-one else is getting it "right" all (or even most of) the time! Our brain is designed to compare ourselves to others - but it creates simplified, unrealistic ideas of other parents. Remember, everyone is living their own messy, human, life.
5. Our loving relationship with our child is the basis of everything. If your child knows they’re safe with you, that you love them, & that you try to understand them, that’s what matters. There's actually no such thing as failing, honest.
Kids are kids: they go through phases, they have emotions, they have bad days. It's not our fault. And we're just muddling through as best we can.
Keep these ideas in mind the next time you notice yourself having harsh thoughts about yourself or feelings of guilt or shame. See if you can allow yourself to be a little more gentle to yourself.
We have no choice but to be imperfect parents! ImPerfection forms a key part of my 6P Keys of evidence-based tools to help you look after yourself as a parent, as well as support your child.
If you haven't yet downloaded my free guide to help you navigate the morning routine, check it out now to see the 6P keys in action.