How do you let go of guilt?
A special guide for parents
Parents always walk around with a bag of regrets on their back.
But right now, just before Yom Kippur, it's time for you to forgive yourself.
The first step: apologize to the children
A national fund
Thursday, September 29, 2022, 4:00 p.m
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A frustrated mother and a sad child (Photo: ShutterStock)
In these days of the beginning of a new year, we all wish for a different year.
Clearer, more certain, healthier, closer, happier.
The month of Tishrei brings with it a different spirit and the days between Ksheh and Desar are an opportunity for forgiveness - asking for forgiveness from ourselves, asking for forgiveness from others and yes, also asking for forgiveness from the children.
As parents, many of us feel guilty, whether it's because we weren't there enough, that we quickly returned to work at the end of maternity leave, that we went on a couple's vacation, that instead of the hammock - I went for a run or with a friend, that we didn't know how to solve the wired function or help in Arabic lessons, that we failed to prevent a fight Either we didn't protect her and she got hurt, that we talked on the phone just as he was getting into the car, or that we didn't mediate enough that something bad happened.
But as much as it is childish to agonize over not being good enough - guilt feelings have no real benefit, and maybe this year we will agree to take pity on ourselves first and accept ourselves as we are.
It's fine and even recommended that we seek to improve in one area or another, but we can also agree that at any given moment - we try to do our best (if this is true - we can, between us, testify to cross character testimony).
It's time to live bravely alongside our imperfections.
An angry mother and daughter (Photo: ShutterStock)
We all make mistakes, we all make mistakes unintentionally, even the calm ones whose parents are angry, sometimes react from the gut, raise their voice for a moment, say a word out of place, and then regret it.
What happened - happened, and it has meaning, but each and every one of us also has the way to change and pave the future differently.
If it really comes from the heart and it is not a routine of abusive behavior, why don't we ask for forgiveness?
I'm out of my mind, I'll be back soon
So if you went out of your mind for a moment (which is very reasonable in the role of a parent), you were angry about the milk she spilled, you forcibly took the tractor that the little hand was holding, or at one point in the house arrangement - you accidentally made one of his dolls disappear, get down to her or his eye level and simply and honestly ask for forgiveness .
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It shouldn't hurt your pride, authority or power, and it doesn't mean you've failed in your role.
It comes to teach all of us, parents and children, to live courageously alongside our imperfections.
In this way, we will convey to our children an important message for life: you are valuable, you are equal to us (even if not in our positions), the honest, loving and mutual relationship with you is most important to us, and in our house it is possible and permissible to make mistakes.
No one on earth is perfect (think how much heartache this understanding can save them).
Share and apologize - part of the job requirements
As parents, part of what will help us direct and fertilize the personality and life experiences of our children is the sharing of our everyday experiences, feelings, thoughts and dreams that we have.
Along with the success stories and high moments you experienced today or in the past, share them also in cases where you were wrong, insulted, said a bad word, kept silent instead of defending, stood by when the other was hurt.
And when you apologize to them - give room to the emotion that led you to react, and maybe together, you will be able to decipher what emotion arose in your children in that situation and ignited the fire.
true for all parties.
Mother and daughter hugging (Photo: ShutterStock)
Regular practice of recreating the moments of anger, frustration, insult, helplessness or disappointment will polish your ability to look inside and slowly neutralize the "automatic pilot" that many parents are dying to get rid of.
When we take another moment out of our day and truly apologize in it - we dedicate time to understanding our interpretation of the event, to the internal translation that ignited the emotion and activated our reaction.
Apology as a lesson for life
When we ask for forgiveness, and with older children we also talk about what happened, we will discover, sometimes, that what we translated to ourselves in our head was not at all, and that the other side, even if it comes out of our waist, saw things differently.
Such a discourse will rub all of us in knowing the subjective perception of each member of the household, including our children - however young they may be, and will allow us to help them, if necessary, rewire the ways of thinking that are already starting to take hold.
Beyond the sense of equality, respect, meaning and value that our child will feel when we ask him for forgiveness, he will learn that apologizing is not the end of the world, that judgments and criticisms do not advance, and that it is much more important than entrenching yourself in your position (and adding suffering to the pain that is created) - to invest in good relationships and establish a friendly dialogue from the very beginning .
Keren Artzi is a parent and family facilitator at the Adler Institute