The Daily Groove


Detoxifying Parental Guilt

Are you plagued by guilt whenever you fall short of your parenting ideals? Such guilt may seem a natural response, but it's not... It's cultural.

Our culture conditions people to believe that their worth depends on their behavior, so that when your behavior is "wrong" you doubt your self-worth, i.e., you feel guilty.

But if you knew absolutely that you are worthy of love and respect — unconditionally — you'd never feel guilty. You'd simply feel "off" whenever your behavior was out of alignment with your values.

That "off" feeling would be a welcome sign that you need to adjust your course. And with your self-worth beyond dispute, you'd be confident in your ability to get back on track.

So next time you feel parental guilt, say to yourself, "This has nothing to do with my inherent worth — that's a given. I made a mistake, but I can learn from it. I got a little lost, but I'm finding my way."