Forgive Yourself; You are a Great Parent

Forgive yourself; you are a great parent

Learn to Forgive Yourself

by Amy Egan

As a parenting coach I often notice that when a parent or couple first meet with me, they have such guilt that things are less than perfect in their homes.  The fact that they yell, are angry with their children, or can’t figure out how to make things more peaceful – makes them feel like failures.  I have empathy for them because I can relate.  For many of us, being a great parent is the most important thing in our lives. Therefore, when we feel frustrated with parenting it is easy to get down on ourselves for not getting it right.

Something I like to point out to parents is, the mere fact that you are looking for a way to improve your family life and create better relationships with your children is a testament to the fact that you are a great parent.  Those of us that read books, attend classes, see coaches, go to therapy, pray for help and truly desire to be excellent parents, need to pat ourselves on the back. Our kiddos are fortunate.

I have a recommendation for all parents reading this article. First of all, keep working on it. Whether you read relationship books or get outside help, continue. Learning new skills is certainly beneficial!  The other recommendation I have is to genuinely forgive yourself. This is a practice I have been using for several weeks now and have noticed a difference in my level of inner peace.

Here is how self forgiveness looks for me.

Whenever I find I am beating myself up for anything, parenting “mistakes” or otherwise, which is played out by negative thoughts like: “why did I say it that way?”, “that was so dumb”, “I should have done this instead”; I gently stop myself.  I then think of why I acted or responded the way I did. Because, I always had a reason. Though it may not have been well thought out, my reason always stemmed from love.  In each instance I was  trying to help my child in some way.  And below that desire to help – is my deep love for them.

It is never productive to beat anyone up, including ourselves.  So nowadays, once I become aware I am doing so, I switch gears. I remember my intention. And then I place my hands over my heart and I say, “I totally forgive myself for responding the way I did. My intention was good and I am good. I forgive myself.”

The peace that comes  in place of the shame is remarkable.  We have all heard the phrase, “you get more with honey than vinegar” and let me tell you, it is just as true when it comes to ourselves! I am finding that this self forgiveness is resulting in more overall inner peace. Since I have been using this for several weeks now, I am feeling the effects on a deeper level. My being more peaceful and content result in my being a more loving and effective parent.  So, if you feel that having a practice of self forgiveness is selfish or that you are undeserving of it, remember that the happier you are the easier it is to parent well, be productive and live a positive life.  Then you can see that truly forgiving yourself is good for your kids and therefore, not selfish at all!

~Happy Parenting~

Amy Egan - Ask Amy Column - North Texas KidsAmy Egan is a parenting consultant and life coach. She coaches privately, loves to speak to parent organizations and hosts several weekly life coaching groups for women and moms. If you are interested in private or group coaching contact Amy at or Like her parenting page on Facebook. Amy Egan – Texas Parenting.


One thought on “Forgive Yourself; You are a Great Parent

  1. I really needed to read this. I struggle with feeling like a good mother and I struggle even more with forgiving myself. Thanks for the encouragement to remember that it is important, that I am a good parent, and that I am worthy of my forgiveness.

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