To anyone considering having children: there’s something you should know that isn’t talked about enough, and honestly, I wish someone would’ve told me sooner so I had more time to prepare.
If a caregiver was emotionally abusive to you as a child and you do not fully heal from the deep (and often hidden) wounds that it undoubtedly caused, chances are you will struggle to not treat your own child the same way when they display that behavior. I don’t care how strong you think you are, when your child reminds you of your child self, it can trigger the hell out of you. Your reaction will be automatic and feel impossible to control. That treatment as a child becomes deeply ingrained in you and it becomes a constant internal battle to not treat your own children the way you were treated.
As you try to correct this, sometimes you will fail, and that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It is an incredibly tough thing to change when it’s been so ingrained in you your whole childhood. Don’t give up! Talk about it with your child. ALWAYS tell them you are sorry, and explain why you struggle with it. That will make all the difference. You may not be the parent you thought you would be, but you are an instrumental part in breaking the cycle. Your actions today are setting the stage for your children to break the cycle for good! Always remember that.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your children is to talk to a counselor. Preferably one who is familiar with inner child healing. If you can’t afford to see one, there are plenty of resources out there to educate yourself and learn how to heal on your own.
Some of these resources include:
- Thousands of books and websites about inner child healing, gentle parenting, and reparenting yourself
- Inner child workbooks
- Shadow work journals
- Research the ‘mother wound’, the ‘father wound’, shadow work, parenting triggers, codependency, parentification, attachment styles, why executive functioning is important and how to help your child learn it, and more…
- Join Facebook support groups (for inner child healing, shadow work, gentle parenting, attachment parenting, childhood trauma, etc)
- Open up and connect with other parents who are going through the same thing… it takes a village and these parents ARE that village you’ve been seeking
And know that you are definitely not alone! We are all human. Every parent has parenting triggers. I can guarantee you know a lot of people who are struggling with parenting triggers behind closed doors right now, but NO ONE talks about it.
This needs to change—so, be that change! Spread the word.