Healing Yourself- An integral Tool To Be A Respectful Parent.Jul 04, 2022
This is an essential part of TRULY becoming a respectful parent. If you keep wondering why RP is "not working" and why you're stuck in a pattern of being nice to your kids for a few days and then resorting to old methods, its probably because you have your own trauma that's holding you back.
So #healingourselves is a vital step toward positive parenting- without which we won’t get very far.
It’s also the hardest part of our parenting journey AND the bravest. Without this step, we will find ourselves thrown back into old habits time and again. We will wonder why things only improve momentarily and then get worse again...
The truth is that all children deserve to be accepted and not shamed for being kids or making kid-mistakes. And most of us were raised on a very healthy dosage of shame.
Unfortunately our parents’ generation and the ones before that used shame as an actual parenting tool. When we talk about this- our intention is not to continue the circle of shame and (God forbid) shame our parents. We recognize that they HAD no other tools, and that they too, had it even harder as kids.
We also understand their good intentions, we thank them for all they’ve done and we continue to treat them with love and respect, and try as best as we can, to make them a part of our own healing. Healing ourselves can lead to improving our relationships with our parents too.
I feel fortunate that my parents are so supportive of my work. My father has been helping me translate some of my posts in Urdu. We don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything but we continue to work on our relationship.
The coolest part for me has been how he will see how I talk to my kids, shake his head, maybe even laugh and then HE will be talking to them in the same way! 😏 It’s really heartwarming! And as far as my kids are concerned, he’s the best nana (grandfather) ever!
If you’re wondering why I’m even talking about all this.. isn’t it possible to heal without talking about our own childhoods? I will ask you... is it possible to heal a wound when you or your doctor have no clue where it came from? Maybe. But it’s much much easier to work on an injury when we know and understand it’s origins.
I’m not saying to start talking about everything to everyone. I’m saying,
1- Start talking about it to yourself. Allow yourself to tell your story. Write it down even.
2- Research tells us that people who can move on successfully from the past are people who can tell their story in a coherent way (yaani aik seedhay tareeqay sai) without shame or guilt coming in the way.
3- Consider talking to a therapist or close friend who will validate you and who won’t say unhelpful things like, “Chalo... jo Ho gaya so ho gaya...” or who starts lecturing you on the rights and prestige of Parents in Islam. Let them know beforehand that you’re not looking for sympathy, but empathy. That you just want a listening ear and a hug. This process might take a while. You might need to revisit some things.
If some of you are thinking... none of this applies to me.. I had a great childhood and my parents were amazing... it’s really my spouse/in-laws/boss/work situation that has caused me stress and trauma. It’s because of THAT that I’m constantly losing it on my kids... then let me gently tell you something.
A person who’s had a shame-free childhood would recognize unhealthy attachments and relationships in a second. That person would simply have no patience to put up with being treated badly or being emotionally blackmailed. They’d recognize shame from a mile away because they’ve never been subjected to it... they’d recognize the pattern and KNOW they don’t deserve it. Because NO ONE deserves it (unless they’re serious criminals). Securely-raised people are not people-pleasers.
Those of us who allow others to treat us badly even when we know that they’re not sincere, or allow others to push our boundaries to the maximum while we build resentment inside... we’re the ones for whom shame is an old ‘friend’. It’s that horrible feeling of letting others down because “I’m not good enough”. “If so and so becomes unhappy with me, I’d be the worst person ever.” 😢
Is it possible that you’re among the rare few who grew up with zero-minimal shame and are now finding yourself in an incredibly difficult and abusive situation?! Maybe. There’s always the rare chance of rare situations.
But for the most part, if we ask ourselves, “how often do I allow myself to do things even when I really don’t want to do them, even when they cost me my sanity, even when my kids pay the price for it?” And if your answer is anything except “almost never” then you’re allowing yourself to be governed by shame, and it’s time to heal yourself. 💗