Shefali Tsabary, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents on how the wounds of the past can have an effect on our parenting.
Most parents are afraid that they will repeat the mistakes of their parent and my consolation, paradoxically to parents is yes, you need to be because it is going to happen, but we don’t need to be afraid in the sense of avoid it, we need to embrace this as a reality. How can we not recreate patterns from our own life, the mastery of conscious parenting is to be aware as we’re doing it, to understand that every template in our life manifested in relationship with our food, with our bodies, with our children, with our intimate others, every template is in some way, all shape or form, a recreation of how we were raised. Once we are awake to this deep fundamental awareness, then every moment becomes a living laboratory, so when the child for example is in a conflict with you and pushing your buttons and you’re watching the surge of emotions rise, let us not be fooled that the child is making this happened, the child does not have this power, they are not doing anything to us, it can only occur, emotions can only rise within us because the seeds were within us in the first place. My answer to parents when they desperately want to know how to stop this is that they have to become mindful and what does that mean? They have to learn to look at the living present moment as the teacher. They have to enter the present moment, there is no strategy out there; there is no artificial third person therapist who can tell you how to do this. We have to engage in the relationship with ourselves, with our lives, with our children in such a deeply engaged intimate way and look at every moment as a mirror to our own emotional imprints.