3 Things to Know to Stop the Self-Sabotage of Parental Guilt

A little guilt can sometimes be a good thing, driving people to stay honest, do better and keep on the right path; however, a parent's guilt is oft exaggerated by their fierce drive to want nothing but the best for and from their children. Here are five ways in which you might be feeling guilty as a parent and why you are probably wrong about most of them:

1. You Can't Buy Your Child Everything They Want

It's hard to just take a trip to your local superstore for a few groceries, without seeing a boatload of items your child is crying for. While you might feel the urge to want to fill your basket to your child's delight, not having may actually be a good thing. Kids who use basic toys, such as building blocks, modeling clay or plain old crayons and paper, tend to stretch their imaginations much further than kids who have all the latest toys.

Also, handing your kids everything they wish for, without them having to work at all for it can be counterproductive to your parental prowess, since it's healthy for everyone to have goals, rewards and even nothing, when that's all they've earned! Consider placing more value on what your child does have and helping them to do more with it; create goals for your child to strive for, followed by a cool reward that doesn't even have to cost anything, such as cooking with you in the kitchen on Saturday afternoon or night camping in the backyard.

2. Your Child Isn't Eating All Their Vegetables

Many parents panic when their children don't eat the healthy elements on their plates, especially when it can take so much money and effort to provide the organic, wholesome goodness kids need to grow. Take solace in the fact that as taste buds grow, so do appetites, usually, along with an increased variety in the foods enjoyed. Stick to the basics, for now, if you have to and always have at least one item on the dinner table that you know your child enjoys.

If you're concerned your child is deficient nutritionally or not gaining enough weight for their age and size, a quick trip to the pediatrician should clear up woes and include some good advice on how to improve the situation. Maybe a multi-vitamin, for example, is in order, to compensate for shunned peas and carrots.

3. You Don't Spend Enough Time With Your Kids

It's hard to face the guilt of working so many hours, it feels like your children are growing up without you seeing every major milestone, but many parents face this daunting dilemma.  Avoid kicking yourself over it, especially if you struggle to make ends meet each week. Consider making the most of every moment you do have together and managing time in between work and family a little tighter, if at all possible.

4. You Are a Single Parent

Being a one-person operation means you carry an extra heavy load as a parent, often feeling like you're only capable of getting half the job done. Most especially, though, if the other parent is out of the picture because they have serious problems that could negatively impact your household, you're doing the right thing. It's also very difficult for a single parent to successfully navigate the dating scene, due to lack of time, fear of meeting a psycho or introducing your kids to a new person, then having to say goodby because it didn't work out.

Rather than feel guilty about your solo position, give yourself a well-earned pat on the back for the job you're doing and know that your kids will grow up as outstanding people, just the same.

5. You Think Your Kids Aren't Happy

Especially if your own childhood was less than ideal, you might be over sensitive to how your own kids are living and dealing with life. Just because they seem unhappy about some things here and there or discontent on some occasions, doesn't mean you're not an up-to-par parent. It's normal to want things you can't have in life, healthy to question what you do have and only going to make you stronger when you have to stretch yourself, in order to get where you want to be.

If you observe real symptoms of depression or other conditions that are cause for alarm, talk to your pediatrician right away. Otherwise, try not to aim for perfection or instant gratification as a parent, looking instead for a steady going course, over the larger picture in life.

Although parenting is easily the most rewarding and amazing job on the planet, it can also be the most challenging and the one that causes you to question everything about yourself and what you're doing. Bring real concerns up with your child's pediatrician and chances are good that they'll tell you you're over-reacting, over-protective and maybe even a little over-the-top or obsessive. A great parent, after all, is one constantly striving to make their child's world a better place and their child a better person in it and that's no small task.

For more assistance, reach out to services like Entira Family Clinics.