Danger of Using Guilt Tactics: Parenting Tips

I find that parents a lot of times use guilt and shame as a way of feeble attempt to motivate their kids to do better. And for a lot of reasons that doesn't work. The biggest reason is that most teenagers just by the fact that their teenagers and walking through things have lots of their own self induced guilt and shame. They know when they are screwing up. They know when they didn't have good grades. They know when they haven't came home on time and when they have been doing stuff that parents might not approve. And for them to then come home and hear from their parents all sorts of stuff about this, just makes them feel worse which keeps the problem going on. There are a couple of ways that parents do this guilty and shaming. The worst offender is your behavior is hurting me so much, your behavior is an embarrassment to our family, your behavior is, well you got the idea. (Why is the tactic such a bad idea? What is guilt and shaming? What could that lead to?) Well, the problem with guilt, when kids have a lot of guilt and shame, is they end up doing things to cover for them. I have one of my kids who use to quit jobs just by walking out of them and not giving notice and all of that and he had so much shame about that that he didn't even go and pick up his last check. They almost had to force it on him and then because he didn't clean it up the next job he went to, he did it all over again. All the times kids who are full of guilt and shame start getting into very addictive behaviors or they drop out of school.

But the real thing that I want to mention here is to talk about the fact that parents do this guilt and shaming or throwing guilt upon their kid for the wrong reasons. They are doing to motivate, but really the reason they are doing it is because they haven't separated their own feelings about the process of parenting and what is going on and how it is affecting them from the actual. How do I become an affective parent to my kid? I can remember years ago when I had a foster kid who was just being an idiot. He just wasn't doing things in the way of it working and I really, really, really felt like getting a baseball bat, beating his head in. But that is so not much my character that I shocked and just saying wait a minute, stop here, let's go and keep your feelings out of this and start concentrating on working with the kid's feelings and motivating them in a way that will work for him.


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