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Do you have self-compassion in your parenting toolbox?

There’s plenty of debate over the Western parenting theory of instilling high self-esteem in children to pave their road to achievement.Proponents believe self-esteem is the key to a kid having a happy, successful life. Critics argue that self esteem created by over-indulgent praise (“Great job brushing your teeth!” ) can lead to wimpy, emotionally fragile kids.But while so many of us are

There’s plenty of debate over the Western parenting theory of instilling high self-esteem in children to pave their road to achievement.

Proponents believe self-esteem is the key to a kid having a happy, successful life. Critics argue that self esteem created by over-indulgent praise (“Great job brushing your teeth!” ) can lead to wimpy, emotionally fragile kids.

But while so many of us are trying to find a balance of how to build self-esteem, we may be missing a crucial thing: building self- compassion.

As a story by Live Science reports, a budding field of research has “psychologists  finding that self-compassion may be the most important life skill, imparting resilience, courage, energy and creativity.”

What’s more, we should not only be teaching our kids self-compassion but we should have it ourselves.

Live Science tells the story of Kristin Neff, who was having difficulty dealing with her son Rowan’s autism diagnosis. Neff, a psychologist who does research on self-compassion, found that she had to apply her work to her personal life. Ultimately “being sympathetic and kind to herself let her cope constructively and offered insight into how to parent her struggling son.”

In Neff's case, self-compassion meant “pausing the flood of worries and accepting her anger, disappointment and pain.”

As parents, we all carry around loads of guilt and worry as we raise kids. But do we ever give ourselves a break? Researchers say self-compassion will go a long way in helping us cope in our parental journey.

What do you think? What situations have you experienced where your own self-compassion has helped you parent?