A common misconception about parenting is that it’s about the child. Yes, it’s about children, but not only in the way you may think. My experience sitting with clients over the last 15 years is that parenting is mostly about your inner child. Your inner child is what we call in therapy your stored emotional memories and experiences of being a child. And this is the internal sphere from which every parent parents from, until they begin their inner work of picking apart the memories and experiences and healing wounds which come up.
At first, this can be a confusing process, but think of it like this – if you could re-mother yourself what would you say or do differently? And this work isn’t only about blaming parents (although blame, anger and rage at them is all a healthy part of the therapy process to shift those big emotions), but also about creating a kind voice inside of you who understands your emotional pain, who understands your childhood experiences and who wants to help and make these safe for you.
Also related to this is changing your parenting patterns, which I’ve written about here. And it’s so important that we consider these parts of parenting because when we do we then begin to understand the parts of parenting that people come to therapy for – their anger, their anxiety, their shame, their guilt, their difficulty coping with children’s behaviour. It’s all part of your inner child story – the times when you were angry as a child and no-one understood, the times you were worried and no-one came, when you felt shame and guilt and the times no-one really saw what what happening for you when all people saw was your behaviours.
So when we begin to look at how it is that you became the parent you are today and start to re-mother yourself, then we heal that inner child and you can then be the parent you’d like to now. This is where we can be so grateful to children as they always mirror back to parents parts of the parents that need to be worked on. Children are always giving parents the opportunity to better themselves as parents have to be ahead emotionally to offer children the support that they didn’t receive.
And this is re-mothering the mother.
Enjoy the video I’ve attached with this from the Compassionate Mind Foundation. A core part of my work is Compassion Focused Therapy which is the process of developing that inner ally and a voice which offers hope and understanding. And this offers us all the answers we need.
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Bethan is a Psychotherapist Specialising in Parenting Support whose passion is working with people to help them resolve emotional pain. She does this by using her extensive skills and experience to make sense of the pain, achieve clarity and create actionable steps so that life is balanced and easier. Parenting can be incredibly complex. Bethan’s work supports parents to work through difficulties such as anger, anxiety, changing parenting patterns, guilt and inter-generational trauma so that parents feel balance across their life. This balance then filters into the lives of children, creating emotional safety, stability and regulation.
Bethan works with parents in her therapy practice, membership and free Facebook Group Calm & Confident Parenting.
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