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03 Aug 2011

Feeling Guilty
I feel so bad, my son phoned me from school. He is ten, and asked me if he could go with the cross country team. One of the team members that were supposed to take part this afternoon could not make it, and he was asked to take the childs place. I said no, because it''s short notice, he does not have clothing or proper shoes and it would have meant I would have had to leave work to get this all organised. Wednesdays are not good days in my profession to leave work and my boss would have had a fit, especially since i have a 45 minute commute home. My son is very upset and I feel very guilty. If they are being unreasonable, which I think they are, why do i feel so bad about it?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Don't feel guilty. YOU did nothing wrong. Your son did nothing wrong, only felt disappointed because circumstances didn't work out. In the long scheme of things, one day's run in the cross-country team isn't anywhere near as important as it seemed to him. With really no notice, getting off work was understandably impossible for you, and such favours are better saved up for genuine emergencies. And he hadn't the right clothing or shoes, all things the thoughtless school authorities ought to have thought about before upsetting him. The school was being unreasonable, and cruel in even allowing a kid to feel so bad about something so trivial. They should ensure he has another opp[ortunity, with proper advance notice, to run with that team.
You feel guilty because you are a responsible person, inclined not only to feel guilty when you should, but to feel guilty even when you shouldn't, when other people are in the wrong.
Have a chat with him this-evening about why it wasn't possible, and how some things ( like your job ) are even more important, and how you and he can look for other oportunities.
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