Episode 4
How I Became Aware of Shame and the 3 things I needed from my Parents

I remember back to 2002 when I first contemplated the word Shame…

I was a full time mother of 2 little boys and pregnant with our third son…I was struggling with the overwhelm of parenting, and my husband, Kyle, not knowing what else to do, scheduled an appointment with a therapist. Her name was Rebecca. I clearly explained to her that I was there because I needed parenting coaching and I’d hoped that she’d be able to give me some tips to make things go more smoothly, you know…ideas that might help me feel more in control of things.

She smiled sweetly at me, her eyes twinkled as if to say, “I understand that’s what you think you need”, and she continued her line of questions about my own childhood. I remember telling her that my mom remarried when I was 2, due to my father’s addictions and affairs. I explained that it was never spoken of in our home because it was “too painful” for my parents to speak about…“but that didn’t matter because, I had a good dad.” I kept trying to move the conversation back to parenting tips, but she stood firmly in my childhood.

I returned to her office weekly for a few weeks before I decided she wasn’t going to provide me with what I needed and clearly, I needed some sort of parenting bible…so I quit the sessions…

Six months later, I returned to her office, surrendered to whatever and wherever she was leading me to go, I was desperate, now parenting 2 young preschoolers and a newborn. I was completely overwhelmed and needed help…

She proceeded into the uncomfortable conversations of my childhood and with time, for the first time in my life, I began to understand the shame I carried.

Brene Brown defines shame as the “intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. Something that we have experienced or done or failed to do, makes us unworthy of connection.”

Rebecca helped me see that I was carrying shame about who I was…my parent’s silence…their fear, discomfort, and pain surrounding our story kept us quiet and isolated. It reinforced unconscious shameful messages that were at the root of my overwhelm in parenting.

Shame keeps us hiding…pretending to be someone we are not…hiding our imperfections and performing, or “hustling for our worthiness” as Brene says. Thankfully my little boys helped me see I couldn’t keep up the same “hustle”. Parenting was shining a light on this shame…it was showing me my imperfections and it was painful…

Parenting is great for that…bringing to the surface our weakness…forcing us into vulnerability… And vulnerability is the kryptonite for shame. Children in foster care and children who’ve been adopted carry shame…we can not be afraid to enter into their story of pain and loss with them…because that creates connection, the very thing we all want and need…

In this week’s episode, I’ll share my childhood story of shame…make sure you watch all the way to the end where I share the 3 things I wish my parents would have been able to give me to minimize my shame…spoiler alert…they are the same things our children need from us…

Audio only


My parent’s intent was never to shame me.  Sometimes we, as parents, are unaware of how our words and actions influence our children.  Kenneth Camp brings to light 15 ways we may be unconsciously shaming our children

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Karen Andrews
Karen Andrews
3 years ago

Another awesome podcast!

Tara Hutton
Tara Hutton
3 years ago
Reply to  Karen Andrews

Thank you Karen ❤️

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