Parenting | Our Parent are our greatest teachers
Parenting still matters. Parents shape who we are. So often in therapy I see the resistance, the walls go up at the mere mention of someones past or up-bring. They do not want to leave counseling blaming their parents for their issues or problems. It’s not about blame though. Parent did the best they could with the resources and knowledge they had at the time.
Of course we want to say that we are responsible for how our lives turned out and the bottom line is that we are. However your parents can and do help you understand most of your conditioning and the way you see life. How could it not? You spent a large portion of your life living with them and heavily influenced by them.
Parenting and How Mine Influenced Me
I remember myself in therapy years back when I told the therapist that I did not want to spend any more time discussing my parents. I was done with analyzing them and my relationship. Her response was that if I still hold any resentment, anger or blockages then my work was not complete. I had not gone far enough.
Many clients come to therapy upfront ready to deal with issues stemming from childhood. Others strongly feel that if they discuss or look at their upbringing than they are being negative about their parents. They paint a picture that their childhood was great. The simple fact is that our parents are and will always be our greatest teachers in life. So much of our conditioning in the way we see ourselves, partners, and life in general was formed at a young age.
Parenting and How it Shaped Our Mind
Try to see your parents as if your still a child. Understanding the influence your parents had in shaping your mind and the way you see the world is key to understanding how you operate in life as an adult. Where your parents the type that tended to avoid issues? Did they come across as joined in their parenting approach making it hard for you to have a voice or your own opinion?
Maybe your parents were over controlling and you tend to seek out relationships with others that you find are controlling in nature. One way to conduct therapy is to explore how you saw them when you were a child.
This helps in identifying why we now as as adults operate the way we do. Without awareness we continue the same patterns and carry them on to our next generation. Let your childhood be a wealth of information to pull from so that you can identify what you do and do not like about many of the present reactions and ways you approach life today. No one is saying to get together and bash or blame your parents. It’s about simply looking at those blind spots or areas that you never saw and that no longer work for you.
Parenting | How Parents Mold Belief Systems
Perhaps as a child you were not fully able to understand why your parents or one parent never attended any of your baseball games. Were they just not interested? Did they have to work to provide for the family?
Maybe they were just not making this a priority and the result is that it left you with a void of pain and hurt. Even if your parents reason was valid, that still does not take away from the fact that you felt “not seen”. Your feelings were valid.
You tend to carry that void today as an adult and have a constant need to be seen by others in all that you do. Maybe from that imprint or experience you tend to be a perfectionist. You remember as a child thinking that if you were the best on the team then maybe your parent or parents would take notice. That is looking at the situation through the eyes of a child. Now seeing the same situation through the lens as an adult, you think: “I have no reason to be upset because they were my parents and I should be grateful for what they did do.”
Parenting and Healing from Your Past
In therapy it is a place that allows you to explore these messages that drive your emotions and behaviors today. Allow yourself to be angry about it. It is when you take an objective look at it and give yourself the permission to feel emotions.
This is when the real healing can happen. I tell clients to sit with the anger and that it is only a feeling. Feelings are not right or wrong, they just are. They always pass but they are an indicator, a gauge or map telling us how and which way to respond to situations.
Once your able to shed light on these feelings as a child you will start to identify these traits. The ones that have carried over into your adult life. Do you find as an adult that you have very similar behaviors that follow a parent. Maybe you find it hard to talk about feelings in your current adult relationship. You tend to go overboard with the attention you give your own children.
You are unaware that you are operating out of the feeling of lack or void from a child.
Codependency may be a trait that you find yourself struggling with as an adult. This may be due to a parent that role modeled this to you growing up.
Bottom line is: You don’t know what you don’t know. Be easy on yourself. It’s about exploring messages that were internalized. Bringing awareness to patterns and systems of behaviors that you want to change about yourself. Be brave and bold enough to look at your childhood so that you can learn from it. I bet that there are several great qualities your parents instilled in you. It’s not about blame, shame or guilt. It’s about the journey of knowing yourself that much more.