Many parents whose children have experienced a traumatic event are subsequently plagued by feelings of guilt. These often affect one’s own well-being as well as the well-being of the child and the family.
- Many parents blame themselves for not preventing the traumatic event.
- Feelings of guilt and self-blame are often accompanied by anger, worries, and irritability.
- The persistent feelings of guilt can affect one’s own well-being, family and parenting behavior.
- Parents who struggle with feelings of guilt are often unable to help their child to cope with the trauma.
- Some parents become overprotective and try to protect their child from above all, so that it’s difficult for the child to experience an everyday life again.
- Conversely, there are also parents who show lenient and inconsistent parental behavior management towards their child because of the feelings of guilt.
Accept negative emotions
- The attempt to push your feelings of guilt aside usually doesn’t work well and only causes more distress.
- Try to accept both bad and good feelings and make room for them rather than struggling with them.
Label your thoughts
- Remember that your thoughts do not necessarily reflect reality.
- Try to label your thoughts for what they are – thoughts – which come and go like clouds in the sky.
Focus on the present
- Try to think less about the things you can’t control, like the past and future, and try to focus on the present moment.
- Try to direct your attention onto your breathing or noticing 5 things related to your 5 senses (smell, touch, hear, see, and feel).