Am I a bad parent?? The Guilt and shame we carry…
It’s a truth we don’t often admit, even to ourselves: we don’t always like our kids. I can hear the guilt in parents’ voices when they say, “Sometimes I really don’t like my child. She’s a pain, she argues with me all the time and she’s just not fun to be around.” Or maybe your child just isn’t the person you thought she would be: perhaps she’s not academic or outgoing enough or maybe she likes to complain and is very negative….i can hear the deep sigh!! It’s important to accept the fact that you won’t always like your kids—and they won’t always like you. This is especially hard for parents of difficult, acting out kids to grapple with. But the fact is, you’re on your way to less guilt and a better relationship with your child when you can acknowledge your feelings.
I’m deeply empathic to parents in this situation because I recognize how painful it is. It’s important not to feel guilty or ashamed about it because we all have expectations of what our children will be like, and it can be very painful when they’re not what we expected. You feel let down, and then you feel guilty for feeling that way. Don’t you sometimes look at other parents and their little darlings and wonder how did that happen, how did they get it so easy? What’s wrong with me? Maybe I’m just a bad parent!!! Why me??? Why??….
The first thing to do is ask yourself, “What am I feeling and why?” Take a minute to pause, step back and think about it for a moment. Maybe you don’t like her because she’s so different from you. Maybe you don’t always like your child because she acts out, is defiant and oppositional and causes chaos in your home. Maybe her behaviour is stressing you out and wearing you down and causing friction between you and your spouse. All understandable reasons to feel dislike towards your child.
Looking closely, disliking your child is more about you than about her because these are your feelings—your reactions—to her. And in turn, those reactions may even contribute to your child’s unlikeable behaviour’s. That’s the good news, since the only person you can change is yourself anyway.
Family/couples/Individual counselling helps you understand and cope better with the stresses of family life. At Paththerapy We offer this support in a confidential, warm, respectful and non-judgmental environment, a safe place to be you, a place where you can talk about what’s happening.
In 2014 the BACP carried out some research to find out more about people’s attitudes towards counselling…a significant finding included
“69% of people think the world would be a better place if people talked about feelings more”
Sometimes we just need time and space to look after ourselves before we can look after others.