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Posted by: ANON | 2012/09/27

GUILT

Hi i am feeling that i have been a terrible mother and parent. One child is battling at school and one did well at school but now is a smoker. They are both wonderful fantastic children but i feel that i have let them down and they are going down the wrong path because of me. I didnt realise that what i did they would see and it would effect them. I was young and stupid and did stupid things. I liked to party and i drank a lot and they saw that. I regret being like that but realise that i cannot take that away. We are very open with each other, they dont hide anything from me and know they can always talk to me about anything and they do and they have. I have tried to talk and i still do talk calmly to them and ask them to try and learn from my mistakes and dont do what i did. I feel that my husband also blames me. I dont know what to do.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Terrible mothers and parents very rarely imagine that they even might be terrible mothers and parents. Its unfortunate when a kid gives in to peer pressure and starts smoking, as in the long term it will of course be very damaging to their health.
If you believe ( and indeed it is often so ) that they saw and imitated you when seeing you drink and smoke, they could also notice and imitate you when you give up smoking and excess drinking.
You say you're open with them, good. Chat about how you feel really stup[id for what you used to do, and worry that they might be influenced to make the same mistakes you made.
Blaming yourself isn't useful for anyone, and for your husband to blame you is even worse than useless.
As Maria says, with the one who is battling at school there could be very many different reasons. Explore, chat with teachers, maybe get an assessment from a child psychologist - find out WHY. Sometimes its as simple as the kid needing glasses, sometimes its more complex. Again, blame helps nobody.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2012/09/27

Actions speak louder than words, and kids are keen observers of our values and behaviour. It''s not too late though, if your kids see you changing for the good that will be an excellent example.

If your smoker is only smoking cigarettes it could be a whole lot worse. Talk about the health risks and how you want a better life for him than you had for yourself when you were young.

Why is the other one battling at school? Have you spoken to teachers / school psychologist or counseller? Help him instead of blaming yourself. Find the problem - does he maybe have issues with vision or hearing, does he have difficulty with reading, is he spending inadequate time studying? If he needs professional help then make that happen. If it''s not obvious what the problem is, have him assessed by an educational psychologist who will recommend any necessary interventions. Set up a routine and environment at home that is conducive to study and implement rewards for good results. You can do this for your child.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/09/27

Terrible mothers and parents very rarely imagine that they even might be terrible mothers and parents. Its unfortunate when a kid gives in to peer pressure and starts smoking, as in the long term it will of course be very damaging to their health.
If you believe ( and indeed it is often so ) that they saw and imitated you when seeing you drink and smoke, they could also notice and imitate you when you give up smoking and excess drinking.
You say you're open with them, good. Chat about how you feel really stup[id for what you used to do, and worry that they might be influenced to make the same mistakes you made.
Blaming yourself isn't useful for anyone, and for your husband to blame you is even worse than useless.
As Maria says, with the one who is battling at school there could be very many different reasons. Explore, chat with teachers, maybe get an assessment from a child psychologist - find out WHY. Sometimes its as simple as the kid needing glasses, sometimes its more complex. Again, blame helps nobody.

Reply to cybershrink

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