Why Parents Need to Help Kids Understand When Things Are Not Their Fault by Cynthia Miller
One of my daughters has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is complicated and parenting her has required us to learn an entirely new skill set. One of the best tips I've received is making sure she knows that this is not her fault. Telling her she's not to blame for having this struggle was like handing her Christmas, 200 birthdays and a new bike all at once.
We may assume that our children know that they're not to blame for their challenges and struggles – but why should they? Children are known to internalize blame and shame, for everything from divorce to parents' own problems.
Sure, it's our kids' responsibilities to deal with their stuff – my daughter will have to learn how best to cope with PTSD. But it's not her fault, and there is a big difference. If you have a little one who will benefit from this gift, give it today! And every day after – remind them, "It's your life job to learn how to deal with it, but you didn't cause it." It's the difference between understanding I can be a responsible person versus I'm a bad person. I hope this tip is as helpful for others as it was for me!
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