Guilt is Good Vol. #2 Essay 6


How guilt became something we did not want our children to experience is beyond me! In reality, if your children grow up without the ability to feel guilty when they misbehave, you’ve done a really lousy job of raising your kids.

Guilt is the very basis for good behavior. When children have been trained to understand the difference between right and wrong, the ideal response to their bad behavior should be to feel guilty. It tells the wrongdoer to correct his or her behavior and make amends, thus smoothing the path to responsible adulthood. Guilt is good because it makes the wrongdoer feel bad. Learning these early lessons must be done at  “mother’s knee.” But unfortunately for some children, and by association  for society as a whole, it may be too late to learn the value of guilt.

As Dr. Morris Massey, former University of Colorado professor states in his book/DVD program, “What You are is Where You Were When…Again,” if you have not gotten this crucial notion of values – good behavior vs. bad behavior – across to your children by the time they reach ten years-old, it is literally impossible to instill those values in your children beyond that age. And if the children reach the age of twenty without those values having been ingrained, there is little hope for improvement. According to Dr. Massey, 90% of a child’s value system is in place by the age of ten and the remaining 10% is locked-in by twenty.

It’s much more difficult for older children to internalize good values. It is something that must be made part of their daily lives and their very souls, when they are little children, if it is to be of any value to the child when he or she becomes an adult. When parents prioritize their children’s souls and are forever there for them, the little ones will grow up to be grateful adults with a touch of guilt to motivate them to try to please their parents, who care so dearly for them.

Teaching children that all of their actions, both good and bad, have consequences is essential to normal development. If left unchecked, cruel, thoughtless, unkind and inconsiderate children will grow up to be selfish, uncaring, insensitive adults. Guilt and shame are the only human feelings that acts as a governor on people’s bad behavior, including not only what someone has done but also what someone has failed to do. Guilt  can only be instilled in children by loving parents who  discipline their children because they care for them and their future.  No one else has the ability to make that connection.

Daycare center workers are not in a position to punish at all and therefore their charges  spend most of their little lives unrestrained and undisciplined. Only parents, but especially mothers, have the innate biological connections to their children that permits them to make their children understand the distress their mother’s feel when they misbehave and the reasoning behind why their mothers feel as they do. Only mother’s can make their children feel badly about the outcome of their bad behavior because little children by nature want to please, not displease, their mother’s. No one else matters to them when they are young. This process must go on 24/7 not just in the few exhausted hours left before and after work.    It’s the Women, Not the Men to be continued…

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