Healthy parenting seems like a concept that most of us can understand and grab a hold of, regardless of whether we have children of our own or not.
However the notion of Internal healthy parenting may seem much more vague, nebulous, and perhaps even strikes a bit of the new-age-woo-woo chord.
And yet as I see it, learning to self-parent (creating that internal parent) is the absolute gold standard for health, happiness and freedom.
Let’s dive in!
For many of us our internal beliefs, templates, and dialogue with our selves came from a parent (s) that spoke or interacted with us in a less-than healthy way. This is not a blame game, but rather simply our reality. This is actually how our internal landscape and reality got formed. If we were ignored, we then learned to push down and ignore our own needs and wants. We look to others for our sense of self. If we were criticized often, we then have learned to be critical and negative with ourselves…never feeling quite adequate enough. If we were validated simply by our performance (sport, school, popularity) we then have learned that we are only good enough when we perform, perfectionism can come on board. Anxiety reigns here as the vortex of achievement never gets filled.
So, in the face of this and as I see it, we MUST learn to remold, and dismantle these false templates. It’s much easier to speak kindly, and warmly to a child. We can find the courage to be firm and yet protective, with underpinnings of love and support for these young people. We can be patient, nurturing, and silly even, can’t we?
So WHY would we not start to develop this with ourselves?!
I suppose if you/we had a perfect childhood, with loving and completely healthy parents that absolutely taught us our innate worth and value then we could skip this step. But, as I’ve lived and worked…I have yet to actually meet that family. To some degree perfect parents just don’t exist as perfect people don’t exist.
Learning to develop, listen, and honor that internal parent could quite possibly be the game changer we all have been looking for.
More to come on this topic!