It’s amazing to me how society teaches children to self-blame for the difficulties and struggles the parents go through.
The kinds of comments and attitude you see in discussions of raising children are so often something like:
“I don’t know how they ever put up with me as a child”
“I was such a spoiled brat, I deserved spankings”
“I’m glad my parents beat my ass”
“My mom was a saint for not killing me”
As if children deserve to be hit and shamed and punished.
As if children are the cause of struggle and difficulty in the family.
But blaming children is a really harmful and dangerous way of seeing things because that’s how we all develop self criticism, self-shaming and various forms of self sabotage. Because we learn to see ourselves as having something wrong with us that needs to be fixed.
It’s up to us parents, not to say we’ll blame ourselves (ultimately, it’s not about blame anyway), but to be honest and admit, any parenting struggle is 100% ours.
Any and All Parenting Struggle is 100% Mine
So let me be one such parent to admit, that any parenting struggle is 100% mine.
My child might do things that trigger me. Or my child might act in ways that stirs something up within me.
But the real struggle – the real pain – is within myself. Not my child’s fault. It’s always something within me.
I’m not self-shaming or self-blaming either, and I’m not asking other parents to do that. It really isn’t about blame or shame. It’s a process of understanding in order to heal and recover and grow. From there, we can be the example and role model parents we aspire to.
Most importantly, we need to learn to see that our own internal battles are not our children’s issue to have to deal with. They don’t deserve to have the torch of self-judgment passed on to them.
I always hope to have this perspective, that any difficulty or struggle I have as a parent, is coming from within myself.
My son does not deserve to see himself as the cause of my struggles. No child deserves that.