August 11, 2009
Parenting by guilt-it works, but does it really?
"Motivating and shaping our kids is certainly an important part of being a good parent. And instilling a sense of right and wrong-helping to influence and shape their conscience development-is also a big part of our task as parents to our kids. But what means we use to motivate them will play a vital role in how they grow up viewing and valuing themselves in their world.
If our efforts to shape and to motivate them brings about immediate desired changes but at the same time creates in them unhealthy patterns of guilt-motivated behaviors, then we run the risk of 'winning the immediate battle, but of losing the war' in the long run.
If on the other hand, we value and strive for not only appropriate behavior change in our kids, but for the healthy and productive shaping of their character and conscience as well, then we must find constructive and growth producing ways of challenging them without employing the destructive use of guilt. Since our goal is to raise great, healthy and angry-free kids, there is simply no place for the use of guilt in our parenting tool box."
Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves
1. Did your parents use guilt to get you to do what they wanted?
2. If they did use guilt to motivate you, how were you affected as
3. Does the fact that that they used guilt (or not) have an affect
now—on your life as an adult?
4. Do you use guilt to get your kids to do what you want? If so,
how does it seem to be affecting your relationship with them?
5. How does your use of guilt seem to be affecting them in their
relationships with others?
6. If you consistently use guilt with your kids and want to change,
what are some other ways you could motivate them?