How Can I Get My Child to Get Rid of Excessive Guilt and Shame?

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So there's a question with that. Where does guilt and shame come from? 'cause I'm gonna, I'll separate them out in a second. Guilt can actually be healthy for us. Shame is a conclusion. I'm bad. I'm not enough, I'm a failure. So we have to separate guilt and shame out. They're not, they're not the same constructs in research. Guilt actually helps us change because it, it's like I did something wrong. I need to improve upon that. Shame is I am a failure. I'm not enough. I let everybody down. Shame is an internalization of a negative concept. I am not enough. I am unlovable. Shame is very destructive to our wellbeing. It's not healthy for us. And it, once it sets in shame is a little bit more difficult because, let me put it in a different context. I believe that we are all born with high self-worth. I believe that our children come with this innate knowledge, that they're good, this innate inness. They're, they're, they're, they're wonderful, they're beautiful. Then we have life experiences, uh, whatever age, being bullied, not doing as well on a, as our peers. And, and something happens where we begin to question ourselves. Shame is a conclusion that I don't fit and I don't belong. I, uh, there's a book, uh, titled, uh, treating Chronic Shame. And in the book, the author talks about sh this concept of shame is relational. Always. When I feel shame, I don't connect socially, I don't feel like I'm acceptable, so I hold back from other people. What we want to help our children do is challenge that shame field belief and help them understand, going back to Carol Dweck's work. When we work, we get positive outcomes. No, we're not gonna do it perfectly, but when they've internalized a negative core belief, what we want to do is help them challenge that by getting to a truth. You know, I want you to know that you're of, you matter. I love you, you're important. And the idea that you're not as good as, or you're not as smart as I want you to know that you may feel that way. But when it happens, when you're feeling that way, I'd invite you to think about it in another way. Are you working hard? Could you work harder? Yes. Okay. I can work harder. Great, but your worth is never contingent upon outcomes. If it was, then we would all be in trouble. Your worth is never dependent upon a specific outcome. If, if that was the case, then every one of us would feel absolutely like we're a failure, because every one of us makes mistakes. Every one of us, uh, we, we just aren't perfect.

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Dr. Kevin Skinner