Why Children Blame Themselves

by Melody Fletcher on April 7, 2011

Many of us carry enormous scars from our childhood. Some of these were formed by living through obviously traumatic experiences, but many resulted from seemingly mundane incidents that caused us to form life-long beliefs. At the heart of most of these beliefs is the tendency for children to take any negative event and immediately turn it upon themselves. If they’re disappointed by a parent, they assume it’s their fault. They must be bad, they must have deserved the disappointment. If they get teased on the playground, it’s a reflection of their value – they wouldn’t get teased if they were better, more athletic, or cooler. They may try a new skill and fail at it, and will assume it’s because they’re incompetent. It’s their fault that they can’t climb a tree on the first try. And these negative thoughts about themselves can manifest as debilitating beliefs later in life. But why do children automatically blame themselves? I have a theory about that, which I’d like to explore in this post.

Children, much more than adults, still remember who and what they really are. It’s confusing to come into this physical reality, with our conflicting vibrations. New humans can have a hard time adjusting to being battered around by all that energy, and still have to learn to stabilize. But when they do, they tend to have a much higher vibration than the adults around them. They haven’t yet formed as many limiting beliefs, they don’t have as much resistance as we do. And they still remember that they’re supposed to feel good and are much less willing to put up with anything less.

These children also know, intrinsically and instinctively, that they create their own reality. They may not know it in those terms, but they sense it. They remember. They know that if something went “wrong”, if something unwanted happens in their lives, it’s their responsibility to fix it. They created the situation, just as we all create everything in our reality.

Only, instead of empowering them by giving them the insight that if they created this situation, they have the power to create a different one, they often misinterpret this feeling of responsibility as culpability. They blame themselves.

It’s impossible to protect kids from all disappointments (nor is it our job to do so). They form opinions about the world and themselves all day every day. The idea is not to put them in a bubble and keep them out of all harm’s way (and everything else, while we’re at it). The idea is for us to help them remember their own power and then get out of the way. A child who fully remembers who they are, will be much less likely to result to self-doubt or blame. This is why the children of today have a much smaller tendency to do this than my generation or that of our parents did.  Each generation comes in a bit more connected, a bit more awake, a little less willing to be trained out of their bliss or to focus on things they don’t want to focus on. But the kids of today are still subject to the turmoil and confusion of adjusting to our world, and even if the tendency to blame themselves is decreased, it’s still there.

Those of us who are adults now were certainly affected by this misinterpretation. It explains why we formed more limiting beliefs about ourselves in childhood than any other time. It also explains why seemingly innocuous events could cause so much turmoil. We may think that self-hatred must be traceable to some horrible, traumatic incident in our childhood. But it all could have started with a 5 minute exchange on the playground. Another kid refused to l let you play with his toy, which caused you to assume it’s because he didn’t like you. This vibration created more exchanges on the playground over the next weeks that “proved” to you that other kids (or at least some of them) didn’t like you – obviously because you were unlikable. And thus, a life-long pattern of creating such situations was born.

Every moment of every day, we are creating our reality and then reacting to it. And our children are doing the same. The more perspective we have, the easier it gets for us to see a bigger picture – one that allows for more possibilities than to simply blame ourselves. The greatest gift we can give our children is to help them make the greatest possible discovery: that we have the power to change our world. We have power. All of us. Even and often most especially the kids.

{ 5 comments }

Kate a.k.a. The Secret Goddess February 6, 2012 at 19:38

I realized recently – it was quite a quantum leap moment actually causing me to pull over in traffic and ride it out – that the life long struggle to see myself as amazing and light filled and ‘good enough’ is actually the result of agreeing to hold my mother’s sense of lack as my own from a young age. The result of not being able to discern at that age my emotions/feelings/agreements from hers and so adopting hers without conscious knowledge of it.

It was an incredibly intense and powerful moment – a beautiful leap downstream that has held huge impact for me <3
Kate a.k.a. The Secret Goddess invites you to read..What is The F-Word Required to Use in Falling in-Love with Yourself?My Profile

Melody Fletcher February 7, 2012 at 02:46

Yay Kate!!!!

What an awesome realization! Thank you so much for sharing this! We can pick up beliefs vibrationally, of course. There doesn’t have to be an incident or anything. But once they’re ours, they’re ours to release. :)

Huge hugs!
Melody
Melody Fletcher invites you to read..Deliberate Receiving Blog Is One Year Old! Yay!!My Profile

Sameer February 11, 2012 at 15:42

Hey Awesome Melody,

This article helped me realize what all happened with me on different stages of ages till I reach to be self depended individual (some recent examples also there) and how I should tackle with it.

This article helped me realize how I am behaving with my Kid Sarah & how should I treat her & help her discovering the world.

This article helped me knowing this is one more (or one of the) reason why many cases of child abuse are not reported & bear by kids forever.

Parents and teachers play critical & important role in their kids….

Eye opener for me. Thank you so much dear for the same.

Huge Hug & Love,
Sameer :)

Melody Fletcher February 11, 2012 at 17:57

Hey Sameer,

I’m so glad this was helpful to you! You should probably also read Stop Blaming the Parents. It’s not fair for you to take on too much responsibility for your child’s life and well being. Find the balance. :)

Huge hugs!
Melody
Melody Fletcher invites you to read..How To Stop Being A PerfectionistMy Profile

Kristen May 12, 2013 at 02:03

I’m a therapist and while so much of what you say makes beautiful sense to me, I still have difficulty understanding how a child could create horrific traumatic events in their own realities. How does a child manifest sexual abuse, murder of a parent, etc?

Thanks!

Kristen

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