A Message to Parents: Stop Feeling Guilty

I wanted to talk about something that has been coming up recently in many of my consultations lately.   The issue I have been seeing is parents feeling guilty about how they got to the sleep situation they are in.  They tell me if they had only done something different in the past, maybe they would not need my help.  Or they say that if they were a better parent, their child would be sleeping.

I want to tell all you parents out there that are feeling this way to Stop It!!  (In the nicest way possible of course!)  22859325_s

You did what you had to do to survive –  if you rocked your child, slept with your child, fed them all night, whatever you did, you did it because you felt you needed to at the time.  Or you wanted to do it at the time and now it is not working out as well as you wanted it to.   It has nothing to do with being a bad parent. You did it for the love of your child.  You did not want to hear them cry or you needed to get sleep so that you could be a decent parent to them.  Maybe you did not know there was anything you could do.  Maybe you thought you just had to deal with all the night waking because the only other choice was to let your baby cry all by themselves.

But, here’s the thing – now you know me and I can help you change any of those behaviors you want to change.  If there is something you do not want to change, that is fine too!  (Read my blog post called Am I Ready to Sleep Train My Child if you are unsure whether you want to change)   Almost everything can be undone.  And if you do not want to change now, that is okay too!  You love your child and you know what is best for your child.   That does not mean sometimes you do not need some help in how to get to the place you want to be at, but no one should be telling you to do something that does not feel right to you and your parenting style.

If you feel you want to make a change with your child’s sleep habits, feel free to contact me for a free 15 minute consultation so you can see what I can offer to you.  If you are not ready now, that is perfectly fine, you can come back when you are ready.  And just remember, you are doing what you are doing for the love of your child, no one should make you feel guilty for that (even yourself!)

By the way, this applies to every aspect of parenting, not just sleep.

by Michelle Winters
SleepWell Sleep Solutions

 

7 Thoughts on “A Message to Parents: Stop Feeling Guilty

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  3. Yes, this does apply to most aspects of parenting, at least for most loving parents. They were doing the best they knew how to do and were able to do at the time. Sadly, this is not true of all parents. Some are focused on other aspects of their lives and do not try to do what is best for their kids. Some abandon their kids. Some abuse their kids. Some actually should feel guilty. But probably all of the parents who contact you for help do love their kids and are trying to raise them well, so they should not spend their time feeling guilty about past mistakes. As you suggest, it’s much more helpful to focus on learning what you need to learn and changing how you do things if your past efforts have led to unhealthy behavior patterns.

  4. If you do your best, guilt doesn’t have to come into play.

    Guilt is a result of knowing better but not doing better 🙂

  5. I have been reminding myself lately, “I made the best decision I could with the information that I had.” I think someone famous said that, just don’t know who. Anyway, I agree, stop blaming yourself for most parental screw ups. And if you need and know where to get more information (such as from an expert like yourself 🙂 ) – go for it, it will make your decision making that much better.

  6. Spot on! I remember feeling like that…

    Sleep training helped. It trained us as well, not just our child. When the next difficult episode happened, we knew what to do.

    • sleepwell on November 27, 2013 at 11:14 am said:

      That’s exactly why I like the parents to do the sleep training themselves. I guide them and help them, but I do not come in and do it for them. There are people who will do it, but then I feel like the parents do not have power to handle it when there are setbacks or routine busters. – Michelle

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