As parents, we are bombarded with information telling us how to do things right, or all the things we are doing wrong. In the era of information overload, parenting guilt and worry are taken to a new level.
But there is a simple truth in parenting that is so powerful, it is often forgotten:
Good parenting means you get it WRONG at times so you can make a repair. You acknowledge what happened and honor your child’s experience. This is more powerful and helpful than always getting it ‘right’.
When you notice yourself feeling guilty or bad about snapping at your kid, remember that this is a POWERFUL moment to acknowledge how you feel and how you behaved is not ok. And then you make amends. This skill will help your child in every aspect of his/her life and strengthen your relationship. So take a deep breath, and show your child that it is ok to not be perfect, to make mistakes and make amends. This is has more impact in teaching your child how to navigate life when he/she loses it. It demonstrates how to be accountable, how to acknowledge someone else’s experience without it defining oneself (i.e, if they feel bad that means I am bad), and how to use the important emotion of guilt that will make a relationship stronger. Parenting is tough. Hopefully knowing that it is beneficial to mess up (and make a repair) can hopefully make it a little easier.