Every time I read a new book, its like forming a relationship and connection with an old friend. I internalise the words and make it part of my life. I share the highs and lows of the content and ride the rollercoaster of emotions all with the end goal of changing, improving and growing as a person. No book has ever shaken me to the core to the extent of The Awakened Family by Dr Shefali. I am a huge fan and have read her earlier book, The Conscious Parent. There was something about the messages in this book that touched me in a place that I had long disconnected from and as a result old wounds opened and healing began.
I think that most of us have an unrealistic expectation or fantasy that our kids will just automatically be friends and we will all live happily ever after. Delusional LIES ….. Do you get along with all your siblings now as a grownup? Did you get along with them in childhood? If you are like me from a normal family – then your answer is NO!!!!
I think my struggle to accept my kids fighting may stem from my own unresolved sibling issues, I will get into that in another post. This post is inspired by the latest book I am reading by Dr Laura Markham called Calm Parents, Happy Siblings, I have had it for months but didn’t get around to reading it.
When I got to page 9, I made my first meme. See below and felt it needed to be a post.
Often people assume that because I am a counsellor and help other parents with their relationship issues with their kids or how to resolve problems, that I will never mess up with my own kids. Being human makes me fallible and I want to share my recent learning experience.
I have a book on my Kindle, ‘Liking the Child You Love’ by Jeffrey Bernstein I am dying to read as this topic is an important one to explain to parents when trying to help them bridge the canyon of disconnect between them and their child.
Parents often carelessly say that they love their child but don’t like them. This is extremely hurtful and gut wrenching for a child to hear. Love is not a tangible, measurable entity but like or dislike is often something easily detected. Saying ‘I love you!’ often, but it is evident that you don’t like your child will cause them to feel unloved.
When I was growing up, I was the child who was considered rude, cheeky and outspoken. This label stuck with me throughout my life, making me feel different, but never less than anyone else. I was lucky and the reason for this was my amazing dad who nurtured my self- esteem with his love and parenting and gave me the armour to withstand criticism. Now in my 40’s, I have the insight and wisdom to understand that I was always Authentic, which is why I never fit in and was out of sync with the world. Speaking my mind, being true to myself, having principles and standing up for myself was who I was.
When I read Brene Brown’s book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection,’ I realised that my Authentic self was compromised by my Perfectionist self and in order to completely embrace my authenticity, I had to confront the aspects of myself that I didn’t like but needed to accept. The challenge was to figure out if society is still dictating to me, or to trust and follow my inner compass.
Once I discovered that perfectionism was the root of a lot of my anger I did what I always do I found a book on how to help me deal with. The book that I came across was ‘The Gift of Imperfection’ by Brene Brown and I thought WOW that sounds like an awesome book so I downloaded the audiobook and haven’t looked back since. I finished it months ago but never got around to writing the review. There were so many elements that truly touched my soul, made me begin to understand the root of my Perfectionism. The irony is that my own remnants as a recovering Perfectionist stopped me from sitting down and sharing this amazing book with you. So I decided to share my own insights combined with others who reviewed the book.
Brene’s key idea is Wholehearted Living which is knowing that you are enough as you are, not when you lose weight or get your degree but now in the present moment. So many of us are putting off loving ourselves because of our to do list, which is never ending. Brene is a researcher and when she interviewed people who lived Wholeheartedly she found they did something unique, DIG Deep: (more…)
I was listening to a friend who has recently gone through a divorce expound on how her ex once again failed to step up and take responsibility. It reminded me of the Transactional Analysis Drama Triangle, which is tied to dysfunctional family relationships (a few posts back). We all choose a script in life on how we will behave if it gets us what we want. In this father’s case he only knew the victim role, she was the one rescuing him. As a parent, you cannot stay the victim all the time because who will play the rescuer for your child.
Read on to identify and understand your role in your own drama triangle.
The Drama Triangle
by Steve Karpman with Comments by Patty E. Fleener M.S.W.
Purpose: To promote the life script.
The roles of Persecutor, Rescuer and Victim are portrayed in psychological games.
Serves as a training ground for powerlessness.
Prevents psychological equality in relationships.
Will go on as long as someone is willing to be victimized.
Think if you will about a triangle. On each end are roles that we play in life. One is the persecutor, another is the victim and the last is the rescuer.
**If anyone in this triangle changes roles, the other two roles change as well.
1) PERSECUTOR – “It’s All Your Fault”
– Sets strict limits unnecessarily.
– Keeps Victim oppressed
– Is mobilized by anger
– Rigid, authoritative stance
– “Critical” Parent
TO GET OFF THIS TRIANGLE, MOVE TO CLEAR STRUCTURE
2) VICTIM – “Poor Me”
– Feels victimized, oppressed, helpless, hopeless, powerless, ashamed
– Looks for a Rescuer that will perpetuate their negative feelings.
– If stays in Victim position, will block self from making decisions, solving problems, pleasure and self-understanding.
– “Dejected” stance.
TO GET OFF THIS TRIANGLE, MOVE TO PROBLEM SOLVING
3) RESCUER – “Let Me Help You”
– Rescues when really doesn’t want to.
– Feels guilty if doesn’t rescue.
– Keeps victim dependent.
– Gives permission to fail.
– Expects to fail in rescue attempts.
– “Marshmallow” Parent
TO GET OFF THIS TRIANGLE, MOVE TO CLEAR NURTURING
SOURCE: SCRIPTS PEOPLE LIVE BY by Claude Steiner
BORN TO WIN by Muriel James
TAJ, Script Drama Analysis
How many of us check our Facebook updates all the time or Instagram to see who likes our photos or the moment somebody makes a comment, we are dying to see what they say so we can respond back?
I became aware of this problem when my daughter deleted a photo of her herself on Instagram because it didn’t get enough likes within the first hour of posting it. After that I started monitoring my own behaviour on social media, I realised that I had the same tendency to always complain about the number of likes or the lack of comments when I posted things either on my personal page or on my professional page. Did I model it to her? This was troubling! (more…)
It’s been 2 weeks since my last post and the perfectionist in me caused me to question, delay and abandon my attempts at writing a post. When I saw this post by Sandra Fazio, I knew it was meant to be.
A recurring theme in my adult clients struggling to emotionally connect with their children is the struggle between the inner child and adult self. We all have within us the child we once were, with all the joys and sorrows we endured. Most of us fondly recall the happy memories but block the painful ones thinking we are no longer affected or influenced by it. We are dead wrong as the more you block it, the more power you give it and unconsciously influences your life. So, when you come across a behaviour in your child that is causing these blocked memories to resurface instead of getting angry at the child, pause and look within yourself as to what the significance is to you and your childhood. (more…)
So many parents feel guilty because they are unable to connect with their children on a heart to heart level, which is deeply spiritual, emotional and psychological. What they need to realize is that it’s not naturally occurring and that they themselves needed to have experienced it in their own childhood.
You can’t fake it, so don’t try to fool yourself, as your children can see through the pretense. Being authentic, genuine and true to yourself takes intense courage. So what now, you must be thinking if you didn’t have this wonderful childhood experience.