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Guest Expert

Ashamed of Your Kids? Reducing Shame, Blame & Criticism

Emotions can influence our behaviors quite directly. When you are proud of your kids, emotions might help you celebrate and share your joy, and encourage your children to continue on a path to success. When you are ashamed of your kids, they might interfere with your ability to be as supportive as your child needs you to be.

Beyond helping us process life’s experiences, emotions tell us something about ourselves or the world around us. They influence how we think and behave.

When faced with a nerve-wracking exam, for instance, a teen might feel anxiety about potential performance. This emotional response might make her more likely to study. In this instance, an emotion spurs her to take action; to do something positive to improve her chances of getting a good grade.

Not all emotions are useful, however. In fact, guest expert Dr. Susan Bauerfeld describes the emotion of shame as “toxic.”

“We live in a world right now where everything needs to be perfect,” claims Susan. “Kids in schools (are) supposed to be on this golden path to glory at some prestigious college. And when there are some bumps in the road, parents often have a hard time managing that. And one of the things that shows up is shame.”

Shame is problematic, not only for kids, but for parents as well; it can wreak havoc in the way that parents begin talking to their kids. Shame can cause kids with ADHD or LD to shut down or give up trying, or to isolate and hide what they’re struggling with. And when one hides what their challenges are, it’s really hard to manage or get help for it.

In this podcast, Elaine and Susan discuss how shame ties into blame and criticism, and what we can do to shift our thinking and manage our emotions.

Why does any of this matter? By reclaiming your brain, you’re effectively modeling and teaching your child how to do the same. Language and words matter -- a lot. What kids need most from us is to feel okay -- even when we’re not.

Tune in to this interview to learn how to shift your thinking and alter your language:

  • from shame and blame to a more productive approach
  • from focus on the threat to tackling the real challenge
  • from an “Amygdala hijack” to problem-solving from your frontal lobe

If you’ve been feeling ashamed of your kids, you’re not alone. If you are ready to find a different way to process some of your more confusing emotions -- to build your child’s self-esteem and have a better relationship -- then this is one podcast you won’t want to miss.


Worry not. Help is here!

The Secret’s Out: Complex Kids do NOT have to be such a challenge anymore!
Join us as we reveal proven methods for turning chaos into calm.

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