hello hello welcome to the autism 360 podcast 360 method uh weekly podcast where we talk about everything autism 360. each week we’ll be catching you up with what’s going on in the program chatting with team members and talking all things mindset with our mindset coach extraordinaire renee tate hello ella how are you i’m so good it is great to have you renee thank you it’s great to be here and um i think this is a topic that a lot of parents can relate to which is guilt um so really good to be chatting about this today yes and i am your coach ella bailey i’m autism 360 veteran coach and explorer of all things autism parenting support before becoming an autism 360 team member i worked at a psychological research lab and also in behavioral psychology so welcome to our lovely listeners we really care about you your thoughts your experiences and your input so please please if ever you would like us to chat about something problem solve or give us feedback please get in touch with us at hello autism360.com uh before we start i do just need to recognize the gadigal people of the eora nation on whose land we live and work and from where this podcast is being broadcast today and also give the disclaimer that this is not medical advice if you are worried about your child and their development please do seek medical or allied health advice this is meant to be support and a community but does not take the place of adequate medical care.
TOPIC OF THE DAY
all right let’s talk about parenting guilt renee yes well as i said ella i think it’s one that a lot of parents do carry around and it’s it’s such a big emotion it’s such an emotion that steals our joy steals a lot of our energy and can often stop us from really enjoying our role as a parent um and i i almost feel it’s like welcome to parenthood here’s some guilt um you know here’s your guilt backpack on your way exactly that you really just carry around and i think a lot of the time we’re carrying this guilt around going i don’t even know why i’m feeling guilty all the time but i am and um you know i hear a lot of parents saying all the time i don’t feel like i’m doing good and you know enough um i never feel like it’s enough and these are parents that are just do not stop and they still feel like it’s never enough um or maybe they’re even feeling guilt around their child’s diagnosis for some reason they feel like you know i’ve caused this or i’ve done something wrong and i just think it’s a really important one to let go of because it can really help us be at our best as parents when we can let go of that um help us be happier um and really just free us up from all that baggage that maybe is um you know being carried around for no reason so um yes so i think it’s a really important one and if you are struggling with guilt um you know this is um something that i hope these tips today can really help .
RENEA TIP #1
you with so the first thing i would suggest is just sit down and write down what are you carrying around guilt for you know what are those things that maybe you’re feeling guilt around because most of us is probably unwarranted you know there’s no reason for you to be feeling guilt around it and maybe you’re not even really consciously aware of what it is that you’re carrying around that baggage it’s like that backpack full of bricks you know carrying it around it just gets heavier and heavier over time so first thing is is just to even sit down write it out like what do i feel guilty about um and just get clear about that to start with because i’m sure once you’ve got that written down and you can look at it a bit more consciously you can go well is this something that i actually need to be feeling um and you know can i let this go um so that would be my first tip to really start to look at what that is and why are you carrying this around it’s not serving you and it’s really time to let that go so let it go stop beating yourself up stop the self-criticism it doesn’t work and it only leaves us feeling worse.
RENEA TIP #2
so the next thing i would suggest is anything that maybe you think well you know what there is some things that are warranted here maybe i spoke badly to my child and i’m feeling guilt about that or maybe i’m not spending enough quality time with them and i’m feeling guilty around that now that type of guilt is not a bad thing because it’s actually there to teach us something so our emotions are message messengers which are just there to tell us that we need to know something so by actually you know looking at that and going okay what are you know maybe there is some things here that i need to learn from take some responsibility for and make some changes in my you know my behavior or what i’m doing so those are the ones that we can really learn from um really grow from and just become better parents if we can look at what do i need to know what do i need to learn from this and when we can really get the learnings from it that’s when we can start to really let that go and change our behavior moving forward to address those things that we’re feeling that guilt around okay so you know it’s not a bad thing because it actually when we grow you know that’s when we can become better parents so maybe you need to say look i’m sorry for what i did and take some responsibility for it um and then just go how can i become you know a better person better parent from this emotion so it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing but get the learnings and then you know move through it so you can then let that go okay the good thing about getting the learnings as well is that once we get those learnings we don’t have to repeat that lesson again in the future so i always say to people get the lesson as soon as you can because otherwise you know what life has a funny way of repeating that so we have to learn it at another time um so they are my top two.
RENEA TIP #3
and then my third one would be to just then forgive yourself okay um forgiveness is such a beautiful thing to do i had a client today who had been carrying around this anger towards herself since she was 13 and today she just said i i need to let that go i’m not going to be angry at myself anymore i’m going to be gentle with myself and it was really beautiful um to just for her to let go of this stuff that that that backpack of heavy you know guilt and all of that so um you know forgiveness sets us free and sometimes if people aren’t ready to forgive themselves or someone else um a good way to bridge that gap is just by being willing to forgive so just by being willing to forgive yourself that is actually a good way to get to the point where you just go okay now i can actually forgive myself and really let let that go set yourself free you will be happier you’ll feel lighter and you know you can start to enjoy being a parent a lot more again so they’re my top three tips of how you can really overcome guilt and turn it.
into a positive uh what do you think ella absolutely i love the idea of kind of examining sit down take your backpack off and see what’s inside unzip it have a look and see like is there a reason that i’m carrying this around what like sitting with it um and uh working on okay well is this something that i can learn from as we know if we learn it the first time we don’t have to learn it the other eight times that’s right ideally you know um so yeah i love that and it’s interesting it kind of intersects with um my first tip which is to kind of sit with your guilt sit with that unpleasant feeling and take the time to sit with your guilt and ask the seven wise so um research has shown that cognitively seven levels of um why will often get you um a kind of shortcut to what’s really going on with an emotion with an experience that you’re having um and uh the easiest way for us to unpack that guilt to take off that backpack is to look at the backpack and ask it why seven times um and that backpack is gonna show its true self you know it’s uh i feel guilty for uh my kid being on the ipad all the time oh okay why it’s your first one um well because you know um i think it’s bad for them oh okay why um oh because i’ve heard that like i don’t know it’s bad for their eyes or something um and i should be like giving them more attention or something oh okay why oh you know i’m always at work and then when i come home i’m exhausted and i just want to rest interesting okay why oh you know i know that it’s really good for them to spend time with me and especially like when i’m in a good place or whatever but i just feel like so exhausted all the time or whatever why oh i’m just working too much it’s it’s really draining my soul i feel exhausted i don’t want to do anything or do with my kids at the end of the day why because i feel like if i don’t work we’ll be i won’t be able to do anything we’ll be kicked out of the house um we’ll be homeless i won’t be able to provide for my kids why um because that’s my only way that i can be there for my kids i have no other way of being valuable to them and there is the root of your issue the seven wise of your guilt backpack um so and i think once you’ve ascertained this my second tip once you’ve ascertained that root cause of your gear once you’ve ascertained like what the fabric of your backpack is made up for.
uh made up of rather you can really plan and actions action steps action stations how are we gonna get rid of this backpack because um our backpack is made up of the structures of our lives it’s made up of our unconscious beliefs our values and we are able to once we know what we’re dealing with make an action plan to overcome that okay so you’re feeling guilty because your kid is on the ipad we figured it out that actually it’s because you have this underlying concern about your own value to your children well let’s make ourselves a three-step action plan to be able to overcome that issue to be able to really connect with our children and provide value in the um interactions that we’re having with our kid where’s that backpack on she’s out we don’t need her anymore um and that’s such an exciting place to be as a parent um and i think my final tip would be um when you’re sitting with your backpack when you’re asking your whys ask yourself who benefits from this guilt is there is there uh you know is there somebody or something somebody in your past a relationship that you’ve had something like that um a negative belief about yourself the benefits from this guilt who who gets the upside of this when i’m feeling crappy about myself about my parenting feeling guilty is it me obviously not is it my kids also not you know i think when we um sometimes i have difficulty letting go of the guilt for our own sake it can be really helpful to let go of the guilt for our kid’s sake the less guilt that you’re carrying around the less energy that you’re spending feeling guilty about something the more emotional energy you have to give to your kiddos and i just think that that’s such a win i think that is so good and that’s so true you know what’s the cost and the impact that that is having on your children you know if it’s not enough to look at how that’s affecting you um how is it affecting them because it’s not serving anyone and um absolutely love those tips ella um and you know what i’m glad that you mentioned the working one because that was one that came up actually today in our group coaching session was quite a few moms i feel guilty for working um so you know that’s one that i think and hear these people just doing this for their children and you know what we just need to look at that bigger picture and go you know what this is benefiting our children in many ways and it is important for um parents to have that other outlet and you know i think those things can really help us be better parents by having different our needs being met in different ways as well so um yeah great tips ella and i i love that um process of getting to the root cause and as you said taking action because you know what there is some things that maybe you could change from that and that that’s a great outcome yeah yeah yeah so um really important.
WHAT YOU CAN TAKE FROM THE TOPIC
tips there and i would ask you from um these tips today what are your biggest takeaways and that you’re going to take from that and what can you action from our session today um you know what would you like to action from that and sometimes just having that one action um that you implement can really start to change things and you know get that momentum towards something a lot more positive so uh yeah just really encourage you to have a think about that yeah speaking of interestingly i had a question from helen from victoria asks during the week what do you do about family members who use guilt a lot in family relationships is this something you’ve come across multi-generational guilt guilt as a relationship tactic yes look i had a parent um about a week ago who was having trouble setting boundaries it was actually her mother that was putting a lot of guilt on her and she was just you know her plate is so full with her family she’s got quite a few children and um you know she was just saying i we just don’t have any time and then my mom is making you know me feel guilty and um you know we looked at that and just you know how can she address that because i think the thing is is that as parents when our children are young particularly if they’re needing extra support and um you know i think the thing is is looking at what are our priorities what are those big rocks that we really have to put our time and energy into at the moment and especially if you are working on you know you’ve got other things going on i think just getting very clear about what are my priorities and maybe there’s some things that you’re doing that aren’t your big rocks you know they’re not those things that you need to be putting your or your time and energy into at the moment whether it’s a friend whether it’s a family member i think just becoming very clear and you know maybe just explaining to them look we’ve got a lot on our plate they may not understand that at this point um but setting those boundaries and just really getting clear about what your priorities are because this time with our children is so valuable and so precious and we really want to make the most of the time and that it pays off in the long run so i just really encourage you to look at yeah what you know if that’s happening to you have the conversation with that person but definitely look at what your priorities are and make sure that you are focusing on those most important things in your life at this point yeah that’s such an interesting way to look at things and i think something i would add is um often if somebody is coming to you and you can tell that they’re you know attempting to get uh something you know using unhelpful tactics like guilt or whatever um i find that um doing exactly what you suggested in terms of just like being really honest and being like this is what i’ve got to deal with like and almost turn the problem back over to them for a solution so your mom is coming to you saying you don’t call me you know you’re not supporting me i’m unwell blah blah blah and then turning that that struggle back over to her and saying this is what i’ve got on my plate at the moment like what do you suggest you know this is what i’ve got to to these are the all the plates i’ve got got spinning my 14 backpacks that i’m wearing um what would you suggest like please help me problem solve and i think that that not only um kind of clears the air a little bit but also kind of empowers that other person to problem-solve in a helpful way rather than very clever yeah and i love it you know like let’s use kind of radical honesty and being like this is what i’ve got going on i’ve got a full-time job i’ve got a four-year-old um with additional needs like let’s come together and work positively for that yes absolutely.
and i think um that communication because you know sometimes people don’t understand what’s going on um you know within for you for your family uh so absolutely i think that’s a great a great way to address that in a really positive and empowering way as well so uh yeah so hopefully that answers your questions around that and um yeah i think you know it’s time to let go of the guilt um just whatever that is you’ve been hanging on to you know today is the day to really just make a conscious decision to let that go um set yourself free and you know it’s really going to help you to continue to be the best parent you can be ah thanks for that renee and thank you to our lovely listeners for joining us today we’ll be back next week uh with another topic exploring autism parenting thank you for listing see you again soon.