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How To Support Children Who are Hard on Themselves: The Shamewhich Technique by Jeanette Yoffe M.F.T


4 FACTS ABOUT SHAME A PARENT IS WISE TO UNDERSTAND: #1. Children who have experienced trauma believe it was their fault.

As cited from Daniel Hughes book *Attachment Focused Parenting:

#2. Shame is directed towards the self, guilt is directed towards the behavior and causes distress for the “other” person.

#3. Shame experiences the “self” as bad, worthless and unlovable. the person feels that there is little he can do to fix it since he does not feel able to change the core of who he is. As a result, he is likely to deny, lie, make excuses, or blame others for his behavior.


#4. Excessive shame prevents the development of guilt and when experienced it prevents him from accepting responsibility for his actions.

RESEARCH:

—Individuals who are rated high on measures of shame are rated low on measures of empathy for others.
—Individuals who experience guilt readily when wrong are rated high on measures of empathy.

— TREATMENT: SEPARATE THE CHILD FROM THEIR BEHAVIOR with the SHAMEWHICH “I believe in you, it’s not okay to throw dishes when we are mad, we all matter here, your actions matter to all of us.”


Do you ever feel -----when you make a mistake, you are the mistake?

Or feel ALL hurt, ALL ashamed, and ALL wrong when you do something wrong, or when someone points out a problem to you and YOU FEEL LIKE THE PROBLEM? Or when you make a mistake YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE THE MISTAKE?

If so, Then you’ve been dealt the SHAMEWIICH!!!


Let me explain. It means psychologically, you were taught to feel that you were only loved for only what you do, not who you are. And/or You were blamed, shamed to feel unloveable when you made a mistake. And there was no room to make a mistake because you were EXPECTED TO BE PERFECT.

Now a lot of people who have experienced an Adverse Childhood Experience (verbal/emotional/physical/sexual abuse and/or neglect (abandonment) also are common to believe they are unloveable because they were traumatized as children. If you were traumatized as a child, you probably believed it was your fault because that’s what kids do, they believe they are responsible for everything that happens in their lives until around the age of 8. This is called egotistic.

But as a children mature, they understand it was not their fault and they were not responsible for the trauma. The big people were responsible. But the child is still left with the belief system “they are wrong” “they are unloveable” and “They are to blame” for everything.

And they may compensate, make up for this by working really hard “TO BE PERFECT” not make mistakes, not take responsibility for their mistakes because it feels like this….


Imagine you are in a bubble which surrounds you and the reflection in the bubble, is your bad self, the unlovable, the all wrong one, the mistaken one, the deficient one.


And when someone points out a mistake you’ve made, YOU CAN’T SEE past the bubble, you’re stuck there. IN IT, in the THICK of it…. No matter how hard the other person tries to help you only see your behavior, YOU CAN’T separate from it, by deflecting or excusing or showing how “great you are” and the more someone points out your mistakes you become ANGRY, RESENTFUL and ultimately ENRAGED.

So I am going to teach you to unlearn “this shame” ‘blame” and “feeling that you are all wrong”


You will learn how to name it

tame it and reframe it

so you can feel alright! with the MINDSWITCH.

So here’ the SHAMEWICH you’ve been eating:

The bread on the bottom is YOUR BEST FRIEND INNER VOICE YOU

The ingredients in the middle- Whether you are a vegetarian or meat eater - are “what people OUTSIDE OF YOU are pointing OUT IS WRONG, IS THE PROBLEM, IS THE MISTAKE”

The bread on top is YOUR BEST FRIEND INNER VOICE YOU again!


So here’s how you do it!


The next time someone points out :

WHAT IS WRONG, WHAT IS THE PROBLEM, and WHAT IS THE MISTAKE


I WANT YOU TO SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM THE WRONG THE PROBLEM THE MISTAKE and TALK TO YOURSELF from the BOTTOM UP:

The bread on the bottom is YOUR BEST FRIEND INNER VOICE YOU that teaches you a NEW MINDSET by saying to YOU first:

You are brave

You matter

You are absolutely enough You are doing the best that you can.

You are good enough just the way that you are.

You have permission to not be perfect.

You are human, it’s human to make mistakes.

You are the answer.

You are learning every day.

You are lovable

You are worthy of love.

You belong.

You have permission to love yourself

The fixing in the middle is where you PUT THE WRONG STUFF, THE PROBLEMS, AND THE MISTAKES.

what’s wrong is what’s wrong, the not putting my clothes in the hamper, the not cleaning up after myself, the not remembering to slow down and stop reacting to every little thing is the problem.”

The problem is the problem, Spilling the milk, learning something new that’s hard, not slowing down to think,

“This mistake is the mistake, the math problem is the mistake, the cussing’s the mistake, the not saying thank you.

The bread on the top is

YOUR BEST FRIEND INNER VOICE YOU” LIKE THIS:

‘You are doing the best that you can.”

You are a good person

You are not perfect and that is normal.

You are brave

You matter

You are absolutely enough You are doing the best that you can.

You are good enough just the way that you are.

You have permission to not be perfect.

You are human, it’s human to make mistakes.

You are the answer.

You are learning every day.

You are lovable

You are worthy of love.

You belong.

You have permission to love yourself

The more you practice the better you get, the better you get, the more you grow, the better you feel, so turn your SHAMEWICH into a MEAL!



DOWNLOAD THE HANDOUT FOR USE WITH YOUR SELF OR FOR YOUR CHILD!

#5TheShamewichHANDOUT
.pdf
Download PDF • 285KB

LIST OF BOOKS TO HELP CHILDREN WITH SHAME CLICK HERE



Books cited: *Attachment Focused Parenting by Daniel Hughes

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