"When I'm a parent I will NEVER do xyz."
"When I'm a parent I will ALWAYS do xyz."
Almost all of us have memories of thinking these words as children. And then we become parents and, before we know it, we hear our mom or dad's voice coming out of our mouth. Sometimes this is a good thing. When we were raised with compassion, understanding, respect, and empathy, this is a VERY good thing. But in those moments where we are faced with our own upbringing's short comings, where our parents would have yelled, hit, spanked, or just responded with impatience or annoyance to "discipline" us, we are faced with a choice.
That choice is to parent the way we were parented OR to pause, reassess, and be the parent we so desperately needed as children.
No parent is perfect. No parent gets it right 100% of the time. But we can try and one way to do that is to deeply connect with your inner child and think about what you needed when you were young, whether you got it or not. This saying: "Be the parent you needed as a child." can help with that. It can be incredibly healing to parent with this goal in mind. It can help heal wounds from the past because you know you won't be passing those wounds on to your children. It can also help you pause in the moment, when your patience is low and your kids are on your last nerve, to reaffirm your parenting goals and connect with your vulnerable side and soften toward your child.
And it doesn't have to mean anything negative about how you were raised or have to be a critique on your own parents. Perhaps you were blessed with wonderful parents (I hope you were); let this be a reminder to channel them in those moments. The goal is simple:
Take a moment to honor the needs of
the child that was and the child that is.
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