Jamie Jensen

How We Talk About Shame

When we first started talking to our kids about shame we would call it “the Shame Monster”. Sometimes we still do! We would say “the shame monster clings to your heart and tells you lies about who you are”. Quite separately we also talked to our kids about how their worth is like a candle that never goes out! (I want to credit Brene Brown for that but I can’t find the source). On the way to preschool my boy goes, “Mom, I’m not scared of the shame monster”. And I said, “Oh yeah? Why is that?”. He cooly replied, “If he comes around I’ll just burn him with my candle!”.

If ever there was a preschool mic drop - it was then! That is how we get rid of shame - by acknowledging our worth and using it as a weapon against shame!

You know, I write these colorful and creative books for my kids but before you think I’m some kind of unicorn mom I have to let you know it was my kids that got me to dive into the mental and emotional health world - not the other way around. One day I absolutely lost my cool with my daughter. The kind of outburst that left me ashamed of myself and made me wonder if there was anyone on this green earth who was worse at parenting than me. I went to therapy thinking no one there could help me. Turns out they could. So the books are for my kids, but also because of my kids, and also a way for me to make amends to my kids.