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In our society, shame has long been used as a motivational method.

It’s been passed down from generation to generation and tends to run on autopilot for most of us.

Ever hear the saying, “the way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice?”

It’s true for you too. Your internal dialogue is largely a reflection of the way your parents spoke to you as a child. Unconsciously and automatically these are the words you’ll use with your own kids. UNLESS you make a conscious choice to change them.

Parents are trying to do their best for their children. They are using this outdated motivational method with good intentions. Just as their parents were with them. They want their kids to grow up to be independent, resilient, good moral citizens with good jobs.

Of course they don’t realise the damage shame can cause over time.

It’s like each little bit of shame slowly chips away at self worth and self belief, distorting our self image, colouring our vision of who we really are, what we are capable of and disconnecting us from our true ‘soul self.’

Suppose your child is behaving in a clingy, whiny type way.

Your initial response might be that you want your child to stop this behaviour.

Maybe your consciousness would be following along the lines of “my child is behaving “badly” I must be doing something wrong (and that’s painful), so I have to stop them. I have to make them be happy.”

Maybe you would be feeling like you were failing?

Perhaps you’d be telling yourself you’re not a good enough mother?

These kinds of “shame” threads run through our head. They’re quick and they’re sneaky. You might not even catch them at first, but they’re there.

Fear of not being good enough.

Fear of being vulnerable.

What if we became the ones who are courageous enough to be enough just as we are.

For our children to be enough just as they are. Not perfect, but enough.

What if, in those moments that our children are struggling, we could let go of having to prove our worth to anyone (including ourselves) and (to borrow Brene Brown’s phrase) “lean in to vulnerability.”

Instead of, “Stop carrying on like a baby!”

Something like, “You are feeling so upset right now, I see that, I’m here.”

It’s scary, because it’s messy.

But to me, it’s also courageous.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, join the conversation here


Belinda Connelly

Parenting Mentor
B. Ed (Early Childhood)
Certified Lightworker Practitioner 

PS If you’d like some support with unravelling shame, check out how we can work together here