Your parents (or carers who took the parenting role) were first influences in your life.
Your Grandparents were the influences on their life.
What you learnt from your parents, grandparents and what has been past down in your family through generations has lasting effect on how you are today. How you were raised impacts your brain structure, your emotions, your belief systems and how you function in the world… As the world wakes up to the amazing discoveries of neuroscience (we have more infomation about the brain and it’s wiring and plasticity in the last three years than we have had access to in the past three hundred) it becomes increasingly apparent that how we were raised as children creates who we are today as adults.
This means that many people are suffering from the effects of improper parenting. Depression, low self-esteem, unhealthy habits or inhibitions, addictions and feelings of worthlessness can stem from parenting that was less than kind or connected. Some adults today are in abusive relationships from which they feel stuck and unable to remove themselves, this can be attributed in some way to their childhood wiring, when they began to experience the abuse as a child (whether it be emotional, psychological or even physical) they believed that somehow it was something they deserved.
Looking at how our parents parented us can make us feel alienated and hurt. Yet, facing squarely the past and being willing to move through the discomfort of exploring your childhood is the way forward for you to be able to parent your children well today.
Forgiveness for any acts of unkindness that were delivered to you as a child will bring resolution and peace. This includes forgiveness for any physical, sexual and verbal abuse, physical and emotional neglect, rejection, favoritism of one sibling over another, lack of boundaries, or too much harsh discipline, forcing choices on you or overly protective or indulgent.
There is a huge market out there suggesting various parenting techniques, however if you are wounded from your own childhood, no technique or strategy is going to be of any use to you. For if your own child acts in a certain way that you find challenging, without the awareness and understanding of your own patterns that were formed when you were little, you are in danger of being triggered into acting in ways that your parents acted towards you in the past. Quite simply without awareness you are in danger of perpeptuating the same story.
How you gain awareness, is entirely up to you. It can take a brave and courageous heart to face the demons of the past. One of the best ways to do this I know is to question all those thoughts you have about your parents using The Work. And if you are reading this, I believe it’s no coincidence, it’s time. Time for you to forgive and start to live in a state of gratitude, time for you to be a joyful parent, not one who is lurking in the shadows of the past.