Thursday, January 26, 2012

When Negative Comments About Your Parenting Lead to Feelings of Shame

A mom told me how terrible she felt when her own parents made negative comments about her parenting. For example, they noticed that her 3-year-old didn’t always pay attention to what she said and they thought she should be disciplining her child for that. Although she didn’t agree, she also felt shame that her parenting wasn’t as good as it should be.

Researcher BrenĂ© Brown has discovered that parenting is an area that easily triggers shame. Once you feel shame, you are not in a place to do your best parenting. What’s the solution? Sharing your story with someone who can be empathetic certainly helps.

Brown described it this way in a recent interview, “If you have a petri dish and you have shame in there, this pervasive feeling of not being good enough and not being ‘whatever’ enough — thin enough, rich enough, popular enough, promoted enough, loved enough. It only needs three things to survive in this little Petri dish and actually to grow exponentially and creep into every corner and crevice of your life and those are secrecy, silence and judgment. If you have the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and you douse it with some empathy, you share your story with someone who can hear you and look back at you and say you’re not alone, shame dies.”

Having a good friend or two that you can rely on is so important. When you hear negative comments about your parenting, share your story and know that you are not alone.

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