Feeling guilty often comes with being a parent. Guilt is a form of parental anxiety that if left to run rampant can ruin the quality of family life. In truth, holding onto guilt does not make you a better parent or stop you from repeating the behavior that you feel guilty about. More often than not holding onto guilt progressively erodes your self worth and confidence as a parent which can create further parenting challenges.
As a parent what do you feel guilty about?
Examining what makes you feel guilty and tapping on it may not only help to relieve a great deal of parental stress and burden but also help you to become a more happy, calm, loving and present parent. As a parent you can use EFT to ease the burden of guilt which can then pave the way for more productive and healthy behaviors and self concepts that enriches the lives of both you and your children.
As a parent, acting out of guilt may at times lead to making poor decisions that you then later regret, possibly leading to further guilt. Learning to manage parental guilt can lead to making more healthy parental decisions which are not governed by underlying feelings of inadequacy. It is easy to get trapped in a cycle of guilt that continues to grow and eventually incapacitates. EFT can be a blessing for parents who would like to escape this cycle.
Here is an example of a parent who felt guilty about her reaction to her daughter and the damage she feared this would cause her. This scenario was posted by a parent on the EFT Parent Forum and to me reflects the way in which many parents “torture” themselves with guilt, sometimes for many years later, as in this case. As you read her story you will most likely identify with and understand how she is feeling.
What stood out for me was that she didn’t actually realize how she was hurting herself by holding onto this guilt. The purpose for posting was to seek help for her daughter, who she thought she had damaged with her actions.
In my reply to her post I have outlined how she can use EFT to release her guilt and the underlying issues that triggered her reaction.
The title of the post is “How to Undo Old Hurt”
When my younger daughter was about 4 (she’s 12 now), I was discussing a family problem with my cousin. I was made an utter fool of by another cousin and was talking with great feeling about it. My daughter who was very neat and orderly even at that age, was folding clothes and packing it very neatly into my travelling bag and was so proud of the job well done that she kept calling me to have a look with stars in her eyes. Before I realized it, I had turned on her and barked at her. I still remember with deep regret that utterly shocked look on her face, how quickly she went from feeling on top of the world to the pits.
I don’t know if she remembers the incident. I don’t want to remind her of it in case she has forgotten. But I have a guilty feeling that the effect of that incident did carry over for a very long time. Is there anything I can do with EFT surrogately to rid her of this? Would appreciate help with this.
My response to this post…
“I’m sure you will gain an even better relationship with your daughter once you tap for your guilt and reassure her that she always has your love no matter what. Once you have cleared your own guilt, you will probably find it easier to talk to her about it, even though it might feel scary at the moment.
A couple of suggestions for tapping:
Call up the feeling you got/still get when you see the look on her face and tap on something like:
Even though I can’t forget that utterly shocked look on her face, I forgive myself for reacting like I did, I didn’t intend to hurt her, I was doing the best I can and I’m a great mum
Even though I can’t forgive myself for what I did…
Even though I feel so guilty for reacting like that …
Even though I deeply regret doing that to her…
Even though I worry she will carry this hurt….
Even though it’s my fault if she carries this hurt….
Even though I’m too scared to mention it to her, because what if I only make it worse…
Even though I don’t want to see that hurt look on her face again by bringing it up…
Keep tapping on everything that bothers you about the whole incident until you can play the whole event (from start to finish) through in your mind without any intensity.
By then you will probably be more than ready to talk to your daughter openly, honestly and with the deep love you so obviously have for her. Any tapping you do with her on this, will also strengthen your bond. Personally, in this case I would only use surrogate tapping if there is a reason why she can’t/won’t tap by herself or with you, but even then only after you are clear of any negative feelings toward yourself.
You could also tap on the incident with your cousin where she made a fool of you, if you still have any intensity around that event.”
Another Practitioner who also responded to this post wrote the following..
“First, you need to tap on forgiving yourself and give yourself credit for being a good, loving and humanly flawed parent… I would guess that your daughter does remember the incident and if she does not she may still carry the energy of that hurt. I speak from experience on this one. Be brave and bring it up with her. Ask if she remembers and discuss it. Tell her how proud of her you are and always have been. Tell her that you made a mistake and you are sorry. Tap with her if she wants or ask her to help you tap to forgive your self. Clear the air. You will both feel better for it. The important thing is to put down this burden. Eight years is a long time to carry it.” Nurse Crilly http://www.YourEFTCoach.com
The parent replied with the following comments..
“The only reason I got the courage to go ahead with EFT for the issue I mentioned earlier was because it would benefit my daughter and because of your encouragement. (Angie, just reading your suggested EFT phrases was so soothing 🙂 To cut a long story short, I started with a relatively neutral topic with my daughter. When I eased the old issue into the session, she, as you’d said, was happy to help me forgive myself. She didn’t remember the incident at all. We ended up tapping for over an hour. I tapped along with her. That specific issue is totally neutralised plus my daughter’s exam fears and others too. And I have finally after months started listing memories to EFT on. Thank you so very much…”
Tap on Your Parental Guilt
If like parents everywhere, you are sitting on a mountain (or molehill) of guilt, I invite you to take the time out and tap on everything you feel guilty about. Simply start by making a list of “all the things I feel guilty about….” Then using EFT tap on each and every event and incident that you have on your list. (Click here for EFT Tapping Guide). If you feel you don’t deserve to let go of the guilt then tap on that too. The funny thing with guilt is that we hold onto it believing that holding on to it makes us accountable and reminds us of our actions so that we don’t repeat them. In reality guilt can actually stop us from taking the action that is really needed to rectify or improve a situation.
Tapping on your parental guilt can take you on a personal journey of self healing so the next time you catch yourself taking a “guilt trip” use EFT to help you reach an altogether different and more “sunny” destination where you can leave all your baggage behind!
Angie Muccillo (BA, EFT- ADV)
Advanced EFT Practitioner
Remedial Massage Therapist
Author of Tapping For Kids