Parental Guilt Complex and Jealousy

Topic: Family Psychology
Words: 340 Pages: 1

One of the frequent reasons for the appearance of a guilt complex in parents is the feeling that they did not do everything they could for the child. Pride for children for some parents can be combined with remorse for advice because of the feeling of the impossibility of providing them with ideal and hypothetically perfect conditions for development. In parallel with this, parents may feel jealous of other parents if they are not satisfied with the behavior of their child.

One of the tragic prospects associated with raising children is the chain of self-blame that occurs as a result of thoughts that imply regret at the very idea of ​​having a child. Such an emotion as regret for a child in the context of normative parenthood seems abnormal for the emotional standards prescribed for parental roles (Moore & Abetz, 2019). Regret about having children can be perceived by parents from different aspects, due to bad timing, partner, social conditions. Also, the feeling of guilt causes difficulties in raising a child, feeling like a bad parent, a feeling of hostility towards the child caused by his difficult behavior (Sánchez-Rodríguez et al., 2019). Parents who realize this experience parallel remorse and guilt, even if this thought is irregular. Being in a situation of having to sacrifice time for raising a child, parents can also experience feelings of jealousy and envy for those who do not have children. Such emotions can also give rise to a serious guilt complex.

Jealousy can also be generated by the appearance of other important people in the child’s life. At the same time, researchers note the relationship between parental attachment and adolescent aggression directed at parents (Voulgaridou & Kokkinos, 2019). Parents are also able to express aggression or frustration without noticing or not caring about it. The importance of emotional self-control in the process of education should be noted. Parental emotions that do not go through proper appropriation in the process of the formation of the child’s psyche can cause serious psychological trauma to the child.


Moore, J., & Abetz, J. S. (2019). What do parents regret about having children? Communicating regrets online. Journal of Family Issues, 40(3), 390-412. Web.

Sánchez-Rodríguez, R., Orsinii, E., Laflaquière, E., Callahan, S., Séjourné, N. (2019). Depression, anxiety, and guilt in mothers with burnout of preschool and school-aged children: Insight from a cluster analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 259, 244-250. Web.

Voulgaridou, I., & Kokkinos, C. M. (2019). The mediating role of friendship jealousy and anxiety in the association between parental attachment and adolescents’ relational aggression: A short-term longitudinal cross-lagged analysis. Child Abuse & Neglect, 109, 104717. Web.

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