Most parents today are very determined to do everything “right” for their children. Just like many other parents, I am reading tons of book on parenting, child development and education looking for the answers to how I can give my child the right kind of life.
I am insistent on being a better parent than my own parents were. However, my reactions to certain situations and parenting behaviors often upset or embarrass me. It makes me think about my childhood years, my parents, events, and the impact those circumstances have on my present personality, and the way I connect to my child.
Research has shown that one of the crucial determinants in being a good parent is the ability to reflect upon your own childhood and learn from it. If you learn what went right and wrong back then, it will help you to heal wounds and not repeat mistakes your parents made. For example, adults who were physically abused in childhood are more likely to abuse their children. However, reflecting upon their trauma and learning from their childhood improves their ability to be a good parent.
If you were physically, sexually, or emotionally abused or neglected by parents. If you have negative memories from your childhood that you have never talked about, I invite you to come to my office to receive emotional support. We will reveal your core memories by talking about the specific events of your life, separating reality and fantasies, thoughts and feelings. We will grieve and mourn the losses with awareness of not changing or recreating the past but accepting it fully. That will eventually bring us to healing your childhood wounds.
Gestalt’s basic understanding of the human being is that people can deal with their problems, especially if they become aware of what is happening within and outside of oneself. Change happens in a person’s life when he can reintegrate a disowned part of himself back into the mix of his identity.
There is hope that through revisiting and repairing old wounds, you will become a skillful, strong, and nurturing parent, regardless of the way you were raised.
Mindful Practice: Now I invite you to take your time and think back. Bring to mind scenes from your childhood.
What went right in your childhood? Are those times related to the happiness you find today? Stay for a moment with the happy memories. What are you grateful for from when you were a child? What are the special times that make you smile?
I hope that exercise helped you to see ideas for raising your children today.