When your child is struggling, do you immediately go into self-blame mode?

A lot of parents feel that they are to blame if their child is acting out or not listening..

We take our child’s behaviors personally and shame ourselves for not being a ‘better parent.’

We might think that other parents (or teachers) are looking at us critically, and the weight of parenting rests heavily on our shoulders. 

I’m going to tell you something about parenting and you might not believe me. 

But I want you to consider, just for today…

Your child’s behavior is not a reflection of you.

I know this is a radical and counterintuitive concept. This isn’t what society teaches us (especially moms) and it may go against that voice in your head that says, “this is your fault.”

But what if your child’s behavior isn’t your fault? (Maybe it isn’t even their fault?)

A therapist that Jason and I worked with said that, “Self-blame stops self-growth”.

If blame stops growth, what can we do when we start blaming ourselves for our children’s actions? How can we change self-critical thoughts into more positive ones?

When you find yourself in a cycle of self-blame surrounding your child’s behavior, here are some powerful affirmations you can say to yourself instead.

As you read through this list, don’t try to remember all of them. Just pick your favorite and start saying it to yourself today. You’ll be amazed how a simple mindset shift can change the way you react to your child’s behavior.


Sixteen Powerful Parenting Affirmations: Changing From Self-Criticism to Self-Compassion 

  1. My child is not giving me a hard time, they are having a hard time.
  2. Being in a family is how we learn to get along.
  3. Parenting is the most important thing I will do all day.
  4. I am safe.
  5. My kids know that I love them.
  6. My child doesn’t need a perfect parent. Kids just need “good enough” parents.
  7. I cannot control anyone else, I can only control myself.
  8. This is what it looks like before it all works out.
  9. I am not responsible for my child’s actions; I am responsible for how I respond.
  10. We will get through this together.
  11. I’m trying the best I can.
  12. I’m only human.
  13. I’m still learning.
  14. This is what it looks like for today.
  15. I am not alone.
  16. A lot of other parents also struggle with this.


After you choose one, write it on a sticky note, put it on your mirror, and say it to yourself every time you see it. If you slip into self-blame anytime during the week, say it to yourself again. (Next week you can choose a different affirmation and continue practicing these steps.)

I’d love to hear which affirmation you found most helpful! Share it in the comments section below.