Parenting yourself first

20170502_113253Aw little Helen Moore, just two years old , so cute, so joyous , so innocent.

I was raised by two very gentle parents. It was a way of parenting my mother came to later in her parenting journey but as I’m the youngest in my family , it was , for me , the only experience of being parented I have. And of course , that’s extremely significant to who I am now as a person and as a parent.

As a direct result of how I was parented I have set up many beliefs. Many of which have served me greatly , and just as many that have not!

Beliefs are generalisations about how the world is. They are the presuppositions that we hold about the way the world is. Our beliefs are our on/off switch for our ability to do anything in the world. It is important to understand our beliefs as they explain why we choose to do what we do.

Over the course of your lifetime , you’ll develop many varying beliefs .Beliefs are most commonly formed by what your parents or significant role models told you was true.And , experiences from our past, i.e, Your Past = Your Future. Other factors might be:

  1. Personal or professional perceptions
  2. Habitual stories you continue to tell yourself
  3. Religious, professional, legal, social, political dogma and doctrine
  4. Your Rules for life
  5. An ‘Aha!’ or an Epiphany

As I mentioned many of the beliefs I set up in my early life have served me well.I believe in treating every living thing with compassion , love and respect. I believe that love makes the world go round and we should NEVER treat anyone in a way we wouldn’t want to be treated by others.I believe in saying please and thank you. That all trades should be fair.I believe in being honest and upfront in all my dealings. Theses beliefs , these values I’ve proudly carried over into my parenting , but what about the ones I’m less proud of?

Somewhere along the line , I acquired the belief that the best way to be heard , is to raise your voice.It’s not that I got positive attention for my screaming as a child , but I got attention!And even still while I have no conscious desire to shout at my children , in fact I actively work against doing so , when I’m at the end of my tether after a long day , I’m exhausted , I’m busy or running on autopilot for whatever reason , and they’re not listening to my direction , or are playing so noisily I can’t hear my own thoughts , there it is. The shouting. And of course , that mummy guilt , that follows as soon as I hear my yelling with my own ears. I know consciously , all the negative impact such yelling can have. I don’t want my children to respond to me out of fear , I don’t want to shock them into action. And yet , there it is.

Often , while we know something with our full consciousness, our subconscious can still be stuck in that past belief that’s no longer serving us. So what can we do? How can we change it? Should we really just accept our perceived flaws.I don’t believe in beating yourself up over unwanted behaviours, but I do believe we all have the ability to change and better ourselves once we have the desire to do so.

Some call it , ‘reparenting your inner child’ , but I’m well aware of the cliche associations of flower-power, group hugs and fairies that will bombard the thoughts of many who hear such a phrase.  Certainly, the notions associated with healing your inner child are not always universally appealing, but there is some deeper truth and value there, something powerfully healing.

There is a Neuro Linguistic Programming practice that is so helpful when it comes to changing our past beliefs. I’ve found it incredibly empowering and effective.

  1. Get into the habit of modifying any negative statement about yourself from present to past. When statements are made in the present tense our body believes this statement to be a current reality. Statements made in the past imply that the event has come and gone, creating a transition that opens up new, future possibilities. So, for example, instead of saying, “I need to shout to be heard” modify this by saying, “ Often whispering is the most powerful method for being heard , I once believed the opposite , how wrong I was” Even if you don’t feel comfortable modifying the statement, just replacing “am” with “I used to be” will create a shift in your reality
  2. Identify a specific outcome you want to achieve. Choose a date in the future you want this outcome to occur by , for example , Monday the 8th of May .Utilising the power of future mental imagery, imagine that this desired outcome has already happened, referencing that future date as having already occurred.Talk to yourself and ‘remember when’ on Monday the 8th that amazing shift happened.
  3. Make it a daily practice. Every day,  spend some time in this mental imagery. Imagine the details of the future event as it happened in the past, using all your senses make the vision bright and bold , strong and definite. Imagine every detail , the sights you see , the sounds you hear(even background noise), imagine how you will feel even the taste in  your mouth. How did people around you react when the event occurred. I suggest dedicating at least 15 minutes to this visualisation practice make it feel real.

Using these NLP practises you can raise in yourself any belief you wish you held. It’s never too late for any of us to be the person in this world who we wish we could be.I’m not saying it will be easy , but I am saying it can be done!

We all want to raise respectful , honest children , children who stand up for themselves and for others, children who achieve their full potential , children who have emotional intelligence , whatever you hope for your children , give it to yourself first , so they may have an exceptional model.

I will be forever grateful , for the model in self love , personal development , grace , empathy and compassion my mother was , and remains to be for me.

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