I’m My Own Worst Critic And My Kids See That

I am my own worst critic. I am the most toxic person to myself. I know that I bring myself down and tear myself down about things. I’m not good at anything. Everything I try to do goes wrong. I should just stop trying to do anything. I know I say these things and do these things. I am however trying very hard to reverse these behaviors. I am trying to be proud of the things I accomplish no matter how big or small. I am amazing, the things I do are amazing, and I am good at a lot of things.


The thing I’ve realized is how much I actually show these behaviors. Being down on myself for things not turning out how I expected or not being as good as someone else at something. It has become such second nature that for the longest time I didn’t realize I was doing it. It came so naturally to me. Now I see my kids exhibiting those behaviors. It kills me. But I can’t be the person telling them how amazing they are at something when I’m showing them it’s okay for me to be hard on myself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, kids are little sponges watching and absorbing all the things they see and hear.

Recently we went to the doctor for a normal well child checkup. The medical assistant was asking my kids all the usual questions – how’s school going? Do you have friends? Are you dealing with bullying? Then she got to the question, ‘What do you like about yourself?’ This is when I really knew my kids were paying way more attention to me and how I treat myself than I thought. They both looked at her and said, ‘I don’t know.’ You guys that absolutely killed me. I always tell them how smart, talented, creative, beautiful, loyal, and honest they are or what an amazing friend or kid they are. I couldn’t believe they couldn’t think of anything. Had I failed them? Was I so hard on myself that they too had become hard on themselves?


I praise my kids for everything they do. Every picture colored or drawn. Everything they build on Minecraft. All the good grades they get. Every accomplishment no matter how big or small is celebrated. I tell them constantly what amazing, smart, talented, creative individuals they are. I tell them what amazing friends and kids they are. But was it enough? Will it ever be enough if they see me being toxic and critical of myself? My behaviors towards myself have become the behaviors of my kids. It kills me. It makes me hate myself and doubt myself as a mother. Am I a terrible mother though? Should I hate myself for this? The answers are no.

Despite the fact that my kids are seeing these behaviors from me and learning them from me, I have the power to change that within myself and my kids. I recognize these behaviors within myself and I am working to correct them. It won’t happen overnight and it will take time. Kids learn by watching and I will be leading to the best of my abilities from here on out. I know I need to do better for myself and my kids, so I will do better. If anything this is a learning experience for them. We get to learn together to love ourselves and be proud of ourselves for everything we do.


Remember your kids are watching everything you do. They are learning and absorbing everything. We’re not perfect and we weren’t born to be perfect. Recognizing behaviors that need to change within yourself and working to fix them is the first step. It’s hard leading by example when little eyes are constantly watching and we all do the best we can. Nothing will happen overnight. You aren’t just born naturally good at something, it takes time. Be proud of where you are now. Keep going. Keep growing. Keep working to be a better you. I am my own worst enemy, but someday I won’t be.

Published by Ky

I'm a mom of 2 beautiful kiddos. I love to write and was inspired by a close friend to interview moms and share the good, the bad, and the ugly of motherhood. Email us to share your good, bad, sad, inspiring, or funny story. You may just be featured on our blog and Facebook page.

6 thoughts on “I’m My Own Worst Critic And My Kids See That

  1. It’s great that you recognise this because that makes it so much easier to change. I’m still dealing with my own skeletons and demons, so what I’ve tried to do is “fake it till I make it”… Don’t be too hard on yourself, Ky, you’re only human after all. Routing for you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely I’m only human. I feel like it’s a defense mechanism to criticize myself before anyone else can. It’s not healthy, but I’m taking it one day at a time. We all have our demons. Thank you so much

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re so not alone. I do that too and my kids watched me doing it when they were growing up. I didn’t know near what I know now, otherwise I would’ve lead by example in the area of self-talk. Even though, like you, I praised my kids all the time, they saw how terribly I felt about myself and I’m ashamed to say it. A little of my insecurities with myself rubbed off on them a little. As a parent, I did the best I could, but even the seemingly small stuff like self-talk and lack of confidence can affect kids. How I wish I’d know that back then. Thank you for bringing this up. It’s something that few people think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is something I don’t think people realize until it’s too late. If it wouldn’t have been for the incident at the doctors office I don’t think I would have ever thought about it myself. I honestly just want to bring things to light that spring up on me like this in the hope that it can help someone else. We are all a work in progress all the time. We aren’t perfect, but realizing our “mistakes” and correcting them one day at a time is how we grow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely. But even though my babies are grown now, I still tell them things to encourage them and boost their confidence. Their minds aren’t as malleable as they were when they were kids. But it still makes them feel good about themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

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