May 08th, 2020

Episode 25 - Caroline Ferguson

Escaping the Parental Guilt Trap 

Are you over the whole Coronavirus thing? We know you will be experiencing all sorts of feelings and one of them may be guilt. Your perfectionist instincts may be riding you to aspire to unrealistic expectations of perfect at home learning conditions, enriching activities for your children and perfectly baked sourdough bread while carrying out your own job in unfamiliar surroundings with less than perfect tools and resources with a partner who’s not usually under your feet. Do you feel guilty about losing your cool or nagging your kids or your other half? Do you feel guilty about how much time you can give to your children? Or how much time you’re allocating to your work? Do you feel guilty for complaining when you’re still well and you haven’t lost your job? 

Caroline Ferguson is the perfect person to be speaking to in these conditions. She is a mindset trainer, speaker, coach and cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist who works with people to bring out their potential. She’s worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and executives, teaching them how to embrace their own promise and ditch self-sabotage habits like thinking small, procrastination and imposter syndrome. Melissa credits her with getting rid of the negative self-beliefs she needed to write her book ‘Real Parenting for Real Kids’. It had been gestating for six years but Caroline helped Melissa have the mindset shift which helped it to come into the world!  Caroline also delivers mindset talks and training to organisations, helping employees create a growth mindset and build the number one life skill of self-awareness. 

Listen to this episode with Caroline if you want to learn: 

  • Why some people beat themselves up and others don’t when faced with similar circumstances; tip: how it’s not the circumstances themselves but the beliefs we have about them that cause the feelings we have
  • How unconscious beliefs like ‘I shouldn’t have to disrupt my child’s life…’ or ‘I should be able to keep my child safe…’ or ‘I should be able to attend to my child’s need for attention…’ are demands of ourselves or of the world which cause us to think ‘or else….I am a bad person/not good enough’ which cause feelings of guilt or shame or anxiety or anger or hurt
  • How essential it is to challenge those beliefs by really tuning into them and becoming self-aware when we are out of equilibrium
  • How many thousands of thoughts a day we have!
  • How while we can’t change the circumstances we can change the way we think about them
  • Why relentless positivity is not necessarily the best course. (What a breath of fresh air this pragmatic approach is!)
  • How to rewrite the stories we tell ourselves that are causing us discomfort
  • A structure that helps that rewriting of the ‘shoulds’ which helps dial down the emotion or change it to a feeling that you can manage
  • How the big difficult emotions prevent us from accessing our adult pre-frontal cortex and our creative solution-focused brain and we get stuck in the feelings and once we deal with our feelings we are able to access our skills and resourcefulness (See our workshop on How to be a Calmer Parent)
  • How setting boundaries and safeguards for ourselves will be part of the solution and encourage children to discuss their own boundaries
  • About the Three Empowering Questions to ask when you feel stuck in challenging feelings to put you back in charge
    • What am I demanding that is causing me to feel like this?
    • What would be a good outcome in this situation?
    • What can I do to make that good outcome happen? 

And as usual we finish with our SUMs. It’s important, now more than ever, to not let anxiety drown out joy. To help us be grateful for the small things in life we are celebrating some Surprising Uplifting Moments, some good things coming out of this crisis. Caroline shares her own story about finding pleasure in adversity. 


Facebook: Caroline Ferguson Mindset Trainer 

Website:  Do have a look at Caroline’s website for a self-awareness tool called PACES. Caroline Ferguson Mindset Trainer

Posted in: Emotional Intelligence , Parental Guilt , Perfectionism




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