Dealing with Guilt as a Parent

It is normal to want everything for our children - we love them unconditionally - but it is counterproductive if we start believing that our efforts are not enough. The problem is we compare ourselves to other families and if we don't measure up we feel guilty that our families are lacking. The world's a different place from 30 years ago; parents' roles have altered. Stay at home parents are a rarity. We rely upon child care whilst providing for our family, and as a result we feel guilty for that choice, and this guilt is affecting our relationship.

We struggle as parents to develop our relationships due to time and energy constraints. Technology reveals new opportunities for families but also opens our eyes to what our children are missing out on. At the click of a button we can get information on numerous activities, clubs, sports etc all to give our children the best in life. It makes us feel overwhelmed with things we should be doing. What it doesn't show us is how to take the next step and how to relieve that guilt. This is where the Nurtured Heart Approach fits in.

The Nurtured Heart Approach is a set of strategies that provides parents and carers with the skills and confidence to transform the relationships and dynamics within your family. The principles are simple to implement and can have an immediate and lifelong impact on relationships with parents, caregivers, teachers and peers.

Living in the Here and Now

We can only do our best for our children and reliving or remembering previous failures or future heart ache is setting ourselves up to fail. The Nurtured Heart Approach helps you to choose to see and create success in every present moment.

One strategy is called Active Recognition or "Kodak moments", whereby you say exactly what you see, like a picture has been printed and you are describing it to someone. By using this technique you are showing your child that you notice them and your attention is theirs. It demonstrates that you are not too busy for interaction, you just live in the moment of what they are doing.

Making Miracles Out Of Molecules

As a society we celebrate great achievements. We do this as parents too. But what we forget is all the little things that have come before that moment.

We assume children should know the mundane aspects of life, and if they break rules or don't do what they have been asked we get frustrated and shout. We give loads of energy and emotion to the breaking of a rule. But when children do things correctly as we expect them to, they are lucky if they get a simple "thank you."

The Nurtured Heart Approach celebrates any success with positive attributes allowing a child to understand why their behaviour is "fantastic" and reinforcing that positive behaviour. When a rule is broken a neutral response is given, allowing your child to understand that they receive no time or energy with this behaviour. However, we are engaged when their behaviour is positive, because that's all your child wants; relationship and energy.

Guilty for saying NO!

Our time and energy is tied up with the 101 things we have to juggle in our lives, so when your child breaks a rule, it sometimes is easier to ignore, or vent frustration. The Nurtured Heart Approach abides by "No rule broken should be ignored" If you take the example of a football match, all players, referees and spectators know the rules. There is no grey area, so if the ball goes over the sideline, then it is out of play. The Nurtured Heart Approach applies the same strategy for rule breaking. A broken rule is just that, whether it be a small infraction or a big one, and once they've had time out of "the game" then they straight back in and able to be successful. Children learn rules very quickly and the consistency allows them to set themselves boundaries.

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