Blog Postpost

Posted Friday December, 22nd 2023

Repairing relationships after rupture

Ruptures in relationships with our children can feel like a failure for parents. Many times there is more to the story. Providing the child with reasons for what happened prevents them from experiencing their own emotions. Listen in as Dafna offers a different approach.

We’ve all experienced a situation where we’ve let a child down. It’s an awful feeling to know that we’ve failed a child who depends on us to be there for her. Even after the situation has passed, you’re left feeling guilty and this can lead to challenging interactions with your child going forward. Your guilt might make you respond by giving in to everything she asks for or maybe you also reach a point where you become so frustrated that you yell at her for being ungrateful for all that you do for her.

I’d like to suggest another way to handle situations like this that will be better for you and your child. Rather than replaying what went wrong in your mind over and over, examine what happened. Perhaps confide in a trusted friend or your therapist and discuss what you did wrong. What’s the message you are saying about yourself? Try putting your hand on your heart and give yourself a positive message.

Your goal is not to shirk responsibility, but to acknowledge what happened. As you discuss what happened, you need to come to terms with it.

Maybe you knew something wasn’t right, but you didn’t have the bandwidth or the wherewithal to stop it.

Once you have come to terms with what happened, make amends with yourself. If you can’t forgive yourself, you won’t be able to be there for your child with the strength and confidence she depends on you for.

Next it’s time to make amends with your child. Have a conversation with her and explain the situation. Tell her - This is what happened. Let her know it was your responsibility to protect her and you weren’t there for her, and you know that she is worried this could happen again. Having a heart to heart conversation with your child will rebuild the trust that may have been shaken.

It’s hard to overcome feelings of guilt, but our children need us to be consistent and reliable. If you continue to let guilt consume you, you won’t be able to move forward. In the end, the goal is to have a healthy, happy relationship with our kids. We all make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we are powerless.

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