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Monday, 07 December 2020 21:23

Parenting and Re-parenting

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Hello everyone and Happy December!

As some of you may already know, I recently became a new mom and after taking some time off to rest, take care of the little one and adjust to the new reality, I had the opportunity to reflect upon parenting so that’s what I will be sharing with you in this blog.

Parenting is the process of assisting a child’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social development from infancy to adulthood. It might seem simple; however, parenting is a very complex process that doesn’t come with a manual! Nowadays, new parents/caregivers have more access to available sources and can learn a lot on how to more efficiently parent their kids in comparison to previous generations. However, no matter how much information and sources one can accumulate, when it comes down to the core of parenting, everyone is on their own.
What most people are not aware of is that parents tend to parent their kids the same way they were parented. And this is not surprising if you think that one of the first things that a kid learns is how to observe, copy and adopt the ways of its caregivers. The way we are parented and more specifically, the way we are taught how to regulate our emotions is deeply imprinted in our core system and shapes the way we function for the rest of our adult life.

The relationship we have with our parents and especially with our mother is of the highest importance, because it is through her that we learn how to love and to be loved. The way our mother loves us will be our guide on how to love others and the way our mother loves and cares for herself is going to be our map on how to love and take care of ourselves. Hence, parenting doesn’t concern only our kids or those we love and care about, but it’s also about our own inner child.

As it is (very) often the case, if parents experienced trauma when they were growing up and they were unable to process it (because they had no one to show them how to do it or they were shown how to do it in an inadequate way), it is more than likely that this unresolved trauma was passed down to the next generation. In other words, trauma generates trauma and dysfunctional patterns find a way to go down the lineage line. And keep in mind, unresolved childhood trauma can have a very big impact on one’s psychological, mental and physical wellbeing.

To survive or to endure trauma most people develop different coping mechanisms the so-called “protectors”. Such protectors are denial of reality, repression of emotions, playing stupid, overachieving, sacrificing one’s self, manipulating, avoiding connecting to people, not trusting anyone, controlling (playing victim-rescuer-perpetrator), complaining, gossiping, trying hard to fit in, avoiding to take any kind of responsibility and the list goes on and on. All these protectors are behaviors that were developed once to help someone survive the pain of a traumatic experience or the pain of growing up in an overall challenging environment. However, if life is not threatening anymore, these protectors, instead of helping, they sabotage our life by keeping us stuck in survival mode.

One way to deal with unresolved childhood trauma is to RE-PARENT ourselves. Re-parenting will not only help us to heal our inner child but, in case we have kids of our own, it will help us change the way we parent them and also help us shift the paradigm of our ancestors. How it is done?

1) Before everything else, we first need to commit to a journey of intensive physical self-care. More specifically, we need to regulate our nervous system, which is the first thing affected when dealing with unresolved trauma. Learning how to shift the nervous system from the fight/flight mode back to safety is essential. This involves an approach that involves regulation of sleep, adoption of healthy nutritional habits (addition of nutritional supplements if necessary), beginning some type of physical exercise that fits our taste (e.g. yoga, tai chi, running, dancing), grounding and connecting to nature (e.g. taking walks on the beach or hiking), having a body treatment (e.g. physiotherapy, massage, acupuncture), visiting a doctor to address any possible body pains/ muscle tensions/ other physical disturbances. Physical self-care includes taking care of our external body as well. Sometimes, something as simple as a haircut or a mani-pedi can give you such a boost that it will not only lift your mood, but it might also inspire others around you.

2) We then need to commit to an intensive emotional self-care regime. To regulate our emotions and soothe our nervous system we need to embrace conscious deep breathing exercises, meditation or to have some kind of energy healing work e.g. reiki. To become aware of unconscious blockages and self-limiting patterns we can consider starting therapy. Find a style of therapy that fits best to your needs and start the journey of your inner exploration and healthy emotional regulation.

3) Allow yourself to connect to other people. We are social beings and deep down we have a big yearning for connection. We want to see and to be seen. Even if as a kid you were not modeled how to connect easily to others, be brave and take a step outside your comfort zone. Take one small step at a time; search for people and communities that share similar interests or experiences to yours; experiment!

4) Finally, do not forget to add some serious amount of joy in your life. Often times, as adults we take life too seriously and we forget that one of the most important reasons we are here is to play and enjoy ourselves. Hobbies can bring lots of joy (e.g. cooking, singing, gardening travelling, exploring, reading, drawing). What are your favorite ones?

I do hope you found this month’s post helpful. What I know is that I really enjoyed sharing information on re-parenting and that I’m very glad to be back at my casual working schedule. If you are dealing with some kind of unresolved trauma and you feel that you need some help to process it, then I’ll be more than happy to assist you. As I am now becoming a certified MindBody therapist, I ‘m excited to incorporate in our therapy sessions techniques that will assist both your emotional and physical body’s recovery. For any questions or additional information drop an email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I’ll come back to you asap.



Warmly,

Nina
Read 3550 times Last modified on Monday, 07 December 2020 21:38

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