The history of parenting is rather brutal, with children once considered non-entities that could be discarded, killed, or used at the parent’s whim. Over time, our collective approach to parenting is evolving and developing, which is good news indeed. How we collectively parent is the leading force that shapes how we are as a country and as a world. How we parent as a society determines whether we perpetrate violence or encourage peace.
Socializing to helping
According to Robin Grille, author of Parenting for A Peaceful World, we are in a shift from the socializing mode of parenting to the helping mode of parenting. The socializing mode of parenting tends to see children as good or bad and the goal is to make them productive members of society. The parent is concerned with raising a child that fits in. He follows the rules and sees himself judged by how well his children do.
In the next evolution, called the helping mode, parents are concerned with what the child needs developmentally and choose meeting the child’s individual needs above the need to fit in socially. In the helping mode, there is a greater compassion and recognition of children as unique persons on their own path.
As we consider how we personally fit into this parenting journey, we can look at our own history and our current parenting practices with more compassion. EFT fits into this introspection, offering us relief from patterns and reactions. Consider this a Personal Peace Procedure for Parenting.
The myth of the perfect parent, warm and nurturing, is just that, a myth.
Parents are products of their culture and humans have the potential to be the most brutal of the animal kingdom or the most loving. But being human is not a guarantee of parenting well. To move forward in our parenting journey, we first must accept ourselves as we are.
Consider all the times you have been less than pleased with your parenting choices and reactions. Make a list of at least five incidents where you shouted, hit, ignored, or shamed your child. Identify the emotions you were feeling as well as the response and emotions of your child. Tap on these incidents until your intensity gets to zero. Be prepared for some cognitive shifts!
It is perfectly okay that what our parents did for us, or to us, doesn’t work for us as parents. Each of us has a mental list, a list from childhood of the things we swore we would never do as parents. Imagine our dismay, when we end up repeating the same exact patterns from our parents. We justify our parental behavior by telling ourselves that we are not so bad, we were treated that way and turned out okay. (Sound familiar?)
Or in an attempt to not be like our parents, we end up on another extreme, just the opposite of our parents. When this happens, it’s a very good indication we are still reacting rather than creating how we want to be as a mother or father.
Make a list of at least five times you remember being shamed, punished, felt guilty as a child. How were you disciplined or punished? Were you hit, spanked, isolated, or shamed verbally? How were mealtimes? How were bedtimes? When were you made to feel wrong or less than? These memories are all excellent tapping material.
Parenting truly shapes the world.
As we treat children with respect and love and model being a democracy, we bring democracy to the larger world. And if we model violence and control and fear, we’ll bring the same.
Consider all the times you felt fear as a child or used fear to control your children. Consider all the times you experienced violence or used violence to control your child. Pick five incidents and commit to tapping on them until the intensity gets to zero. Be prepared for some amazing cognitive shifts.
If you are reading this, you are already committed to supporting yourself and other parents. As we move towards the next evolution of parenting, we can release our pasts, our histories, and see that our parents did the best they could, even if it wasn’t enough. We can heal our wounds and choose how to parent ourselves and our children. There is a growing international community of dedicated focused parents who are using EFT to heal their childhood memories and to become fully the parent they want to be.
Welcome to the leading-edge of peaceful parenting.