In Parentalk 2022, Dr. Lia Bernardo and Ria Trillo share how we can get rid of mom (or dad) guilt.
Nobody knows selflessness more than a parent. That, sometimes, wanting something for ourselves makes us feel mom (or dad) guilt. However, there are just times that we need to give in to ourselves for the sake of our kids. In Modern Parenting’s Parentalk 2022, Dr. Lia Bernardo and CNN Anchor Ria Trillo share what it’s like to deal with mom (and dad) guilt and how to get rid of it.
1. “Recognize the signs and triggers.”
Dr. Lia shares, “In my line of work, shame and guilt are a big thing especially when it comes to self-care. It sometimes really depends on the reactions of your child and how they perceive what you’re telling them.” Ria also shared that the thoughts can hit after not fulfilling certain things. She shares, “Thoughts like, ‘What have I done?’, ‘I’m the worst mom ever!’, ‘This is going to scar him,’ are really going to come out. But it can come in many forms even in the form of comparison.”
2. Apologize to our kids
Dr. Lia shares, “A lot of parents run mom (or dad) guilt and shame because they have a hard time apologizing to their kids. A lot of times when we start normalizing saying sorry, it makes it easier for kids to accept that they make mistakes and they can fix it.” Ria Trillo even notes during the interview, “How can we teach our kids to apologize when we don’t do it ourselves? We have to model it for them.”
As parents, Dr. Lia and Ria share that parents first have to acknowledge and accept that they came from a generation that their own parents never apologized to them. But that doesn’t mean the trend should continue.
3. Know what to bring into your relationship with your kids
Ria shares, “The one thing I don’t want to bring into my relationship with my kids is the idea that I’m always right. When pride allows, I try my best to apologize to them or make it up to my kids.” Dr. Lia also notes how apologizing to one’s kids and knowing what to bring into the relationship is “such a huge statement for the kids.” It’s a big struggle but mom (and dad) guilt pokes parents when deep in their hearts they know, what they did wasn’t something they were comfortable with either.
4. Accept that you will make mistakes as a parent
Dealing with mom (or dad) guilt, according to Dr. Lia Bernardo and Ria Trillo, means acknowledging that making mistakes is also part of parenting. Dr. Lia shares, “Taking the time to sit down with your kids and sharing a heartfelt sorry and an apology helps because you will make mistakes. You’re a human being. And so are they. Doing this will help you create a space of safety in your home to be able to do that.”
Ria also adds, “They always say there’s no room for pride in a relationship. That can’t be more true for a parent-child relationship.”
5. “It all boils down to self-love.”
Ria and Dr. Lia both mentioned how kids can be a mirror of a parent. “It can hurt a lot,” Ria admits. “You spend so much time building them up and then, they start to verbalize all these negative thoughts and views about themselves. We have to gain the presence of mind to step back and ask, ‘Do I do that?'” Catching mom (or dad) guilt red-handed is hard but once we do, it goes down like a treat.
Dr. Lia shares, “Everything stems from how you treat yourself. If you can bring self-love to your space, you will parent in self-love which is the greatest gift you can give to your children. Believing in oneself is the most important life skill anyone — most especially your kids — need.”
Getting rid of mom (or dad guilt) takes awhile
Unfortunately, getting rid of mom (or dad) guilt is by no means instantaneous. It will take time, especially acknowledging the fact that we are not only the best people to take of our kids but also the worst people who can hurt our children. Once we’re ready to face that fact, that’s when we start growing as a parent in being able to raise our kids to become better people. Catch more of Dr. Lia Bernardo and Ria Trillo on Modern Parenting’s Parentalk 2022 as they talk about other ways to stop the mom (or dad) guilt.
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