"It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” -- Tom Robbins
Yesterday we talked about stable internal happiness, which some of us are lucky enough to develop early in life. That's the ability to bounce back into a state of well-being even when life throws us unexpected challenges. But if (like most of us) you're still working on how to do that, consider remedial parenting.
Remedial just means "improving skills," and most of us need to improve our internal self-management skills, which is the way we "parent" ourselves. That's right, you're not only parenting your child every day. You're parenting yourself. And most of us need some remedial practice to learn the skills that help us maintain our equilibrium in the face of life's ups and downs. How?
1. Talk to yourself like someone you adore. Instead of berating, nurture. "You are more than enough, just the way you are."
2. Notice when negative thoughts hijack your mind and protect yourself by setting the story straight: "Don't worry, everything's gonna be alright. You don't have to be perfect. Two steps forward, one step back still takes you in the right direction."
When negative feelings come up, hold your hand through them, like a
nurturing parent. Research shows that simply breathing and accepting
sadness or hurt is the best way to let those feelings go. If we can't
do that, we fend them off by acting out in anger. Resist the urge to
take action when you're upset. Instead, love yourself through your
upset: "Breathe. It's just sadness. Go ahead and cry. You'll feel better soon."
You deserve a parent like that. And when you show up this way for yourself, you start to show up this way for your child. The result? She'll carry your loving voice in her head for the rest of her life.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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