August 21, 2009
Am I motivated as a parent by guilt?
"Understandably no parent wants to be motivated and manipulated by their feelings of guilt. However, if our kids realize just how strongly we may want to avoid those feelings, we become
easy prey and will be handily manipulated by them. Pleasing and constantly gratifying our kids for the sake of avoiding the feeling of guilt that may come when we say 'no' does not a good parent make.
We simply cannot afford to be influenced by our own need to avoid feeling guilty. Being the parent our kids need does not always mean being the parent they want. We can’t always be the good guy. That means sometimes saying no, sometimes not pleasing them, even though we may be left feeling guilty because we have deprived them. Naturally, this can bring about occasional and illogical feelings of guilt in the best of us, but we must avoid being shaped and driven by those feelings."
Ed Wimberly, Ph.D. author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves
1. If your parents used guilt to motivate you when you were
young, how did it affect your relationship with them?
2. If they did use guilt in an effort to motivate you, did it work?
3. In addition to affecting your relationship with them, in what
other ways were you possibly shaped by their use of guilt?
4. Do you ever find yourself, as a parent, being motivated by your
own guilty feelings with your kids?
5. If you do, what are some possible negative results of your being
motivated by guilt in your parenting?
6. If your kids are able to manipulate you through guilt, what
are some possible consequences to their overall growth and