The psychology of guilt is deep-rooted in self-judgment. The sense that we have done something wrong. It is anger turned inward which arises when we violate our belief systems. Much of this negative self-judgment was taught to us as children.
guilt comes often from our childhood because we were raised to please others. We learnt to sell ourselves for the affection of others. We were taught to be good little boys and girls, tending to the wishes of others rather than forming our own strong identities. We are not really encouraged to be independent or interdependent. We were trained to make others needs and lives important and neglecting our own. Often we fail to know how to meet our needs for our own happiness.
One clear symptom of this is an inability to say no. We’re taught to please others by agreeing to their requests. As parents we are unhappy when our children say no. In fact, it’s wonderful when children learn to say ‘no’ in appropriate situations. We all should learn to say ‘no’ – early, loud and clear.
The desire to please others is a fertile ground for guilt, but not the only one. Sometimes you may also feel guilty when we try to assert our independence. This can particularly be a problem for children who are still forming their identities.
As parents, it takes great responsibility and care to help your children form their own identity, for which you should allow them their ‘choice’. You should feel comfortable that they too have the ‘right’ to disagree with you; say ‘no’.
You have to set your children ‘free’; help them be themselves. Do you have the courage?