The Inner Parent

June 12, 2014

We hear so much about honouring the inner child and being playful, but do you know we also have an inner parent too? Unlike our inner child who is based on our actual experiences as a child – good bad and indifferent, this part of us is relic, memories and ways of being we got from the adults in our life.

We interjected or took on board without question images of our parent figures. They don’t have to be parents they can be teachers, relatives or adults who had authority over our lives. So strong are the actions, memories and ways of being we have swallowed we often react just like those ‘parents’ did. Reacting from the past and based on past information instead of the reality of the situation in the here and now. So if someone around you is scared and you say ‘don’t be silly, its wrong to be scared’ you are probably repeating what you learnt from your parents, you are using their way of being and discounting your own way of responding.

We have two kind of parental egos a nurturing one and a critical one, depending on what interjects you took on as a child depends on which one you hear the most. The nurturing parent is loving, caring, open, honest, complimenting and wants you to look after yourself. But even this parent can get in the way if you become over protective and scared to take risks. The critical parent is just that, critical, persecutory and often punishing you for real and imagined wrongs. It does however give you values and morals but watch out if they take over your life. So you can see it is useful or us to sort out what information we carry around in our heads so we can keep the part that helps us in our lives and change the part that does not. Hence why we hear and see out parents in ourselves.

So what can we do to keep the good interjects and get rid of the negative ones?  To be aware of it is half the task, and then you have a choice.

When you say should, ought and must, you are coming from a critical parental point of view, words like ridiculous, awful and stupid come from here too. How about your voice is it critical, condescending or very firm?  Are you angry, frowning pointing fingers or have you hands on your hips? Do you need to be in charge, are you judging or insistent?

Words like love, tender, cute and I love you come from the nurturing parent‘s point of view. Your voice can loving, comforting or going to extremes sugary. If you are open, accepting and comforting you will be offering nurturing to someone.

Check what you are thinking and what you are saying, when you are being critical of yourself bring in the nurturing parent, say it’s ok, comfort yourself, praise yourself and celebrate yourself. Remember that critical parents are scaring the living daylights out of your inner child too.

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