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How Do Parents Overcome Guilt?

Written by: Karen Gibson, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


The first thing we must do is acknowledge the guilty feelings, know that it’s normal and check your mindset: Are you allowing your thoughts of feeling unworthy as a parent define you? Be aware of your perspective: Is your perception of the conflict with your child true? What was the trigger that started you to travel the treacherous journey of guilt? Did you react to your child’s mood? Understanding the reason you feel guilty is the first step.

Second, ask yourself, “ Why am I feeling guilty?” When you label yourself as a bad parent, it’s often because you are taking responsibility for your child’s behavior or you feel inadequate. Did you lose your temper? Maybe you feel like you didn’t spend quality time with your kids? Perhaps you didn’t help them with their homework? As a mom, I find myself judging myself by comparing what I do to what I think a great parent should do. Oftentimes, my research as a parent coach leads me to the guilt trap. I’m guilty of not doing many of the tips I coach my clients to do. I have a hard time walking away in the midst of an emotional outburst with my 19-year-old daughter. I forgot to take a time out until we calmed down before resuming the conversation. I’m learning to forgive myself. I give myself permission to forgive my mistakes, blunders in judgment, and hurtful behavior, because it's a reminder that I’m human. A perfect parent doesn’t exist and it’s ridiculous to set my standards so high that I end up feeling like a failed parent.

Lastly, when we let conflict with our child control our mood, our peace bubble will pop. My advice to parents is to envision themselves surrounded by a peace bubble. We have the choice to allow others to pop our peace bubble or to keep our peace bubble safe. It takes awareness, acknowledgment, and acceptance to release guilt. Once we are aware of the guilt rising, you acknowledge what caused your guilt, choose peace and learn to let go. Holding onto guilt only exacerbates the situation. Your guilt will consume your soul. It might sound too simplistic, but we have the power to allow guilt to pop our peace bubble or to simply let it go and move forward in our parenting journey

I strongly recommend that every parent practice more self-care since parenting on an empty tank results in feeling stressed which causes potential conflict since we’re more irritable. Chat with a friend, seek out a therapist or parent coach or do something fun even if it’s 10 minutes of enjoying your favorite treat.

My mission is to help moms and dads parent with peace, not pain. I’m hosting my first Pandemic Parenting Summit which is focused on preparing parents for navigating their forever-changing New Normal journey. I have ten speakers who will share valuable tips from how to build a nest egg without money, child psychologists, a memory expert, a mom in the UK who used to be a part of the British Royal Navy who helps those recovering from PTSD, Kanoelani Elementary’s principal who won the Life Changer Spotlight Award, as well as a motivational speaker/best selling author from Canada. The summit will be on Saturday, September 18, and Sunday, September 19th from 10 am to noon via Zoom. Contact me at for more information.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more info!


Karen Gibson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Karen is the founder of "Letting Go with Aloha," offering coaching for overwhelmed parents and those in parenting roles who want to parent with peace instead of pain. As a former special education teacher, she also founded Brain Builders, a private tutoring business whose mission is to enhance students' mental and emotional potential. She is the author of "Mama's Gotta Let Go: How to Let Go Without Losing Your Sanity,” available on Amazon, as well as “100 Parenting Tips Inspired by the Pandemic,” published in March 2021 by Balboa Press.



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