Real Talk

A Good Quality for Any Parent is Being Attuned to Their Inner Child

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One of the most important skills and qualities of a good parent is knowing how to speak to your inner child.

We’re always looking for books on how to be a good parent. We spend hours of our days and maybe a lifetime, burying ourselves in all sorts of content on how to be good parents to our kids. Or, “what are the qualities or characteristics of a good parent?” Because somehow, no matter what we do, everything seems not enough. Either, it’s not enough or it’s just wrong. But there is a way to become better parents. One of the most important qualities of a “good” parent is their willingness to develop their ability to speak to their Inner Child.

What do you mean by “inner child”?

An “inner child” is a part of us that lives in the back of our minds. It exists in our subconscious, remembering in clear detail all the good, the bad, the dreams, the hopes, and the traumas we had before our brains could even make sense of it. While it does sound like some spiritual and mystical mumbo jumbo, the existence of an “inner child” does explain a lot of these feelings that are difficult to describe:

  • Intense feelings of accomplishment whenever our parents’ praised us for getting a perfect score on our schoolwork.
  • The joy of our efforts and hard work finally being noticed by our superiors.
  • The need to “bury oneself in a hole” or “disappear” whenever we make a mistake because someone called us out prior or the punishment was too much for our minds to handle.
  • The calm, zen-like peace we feel when we are with the person who simply completes us.
  • The incredible empathy and compassion we feel when a song’s lyrics simply relate to us.

Unfortunately, our Inner Child is someone we eventually abandon for the sake of “growing up”. Or for many Filipino families, for the sake of “keeping the peace”.

What happens when we do abandon them?

Any emotionally stressful event, if not spoken about or dealt with, eventually transforms those negative feelings into trauma. It then starts to leak into our behaviors and responses. It’s seen in how we lose our temper when our child spills their milk on the floor, how we freeze at the sound of criticism, how we will fight tooth and nail for our child for an issue that may appear small to other people, and many other events. Our Inner Child always screams, “Fight for your kids! Don’t let History repeat itself!”

But because many of us learned over the years that our stress, sadness, anger, and exhaustion don’t matter compared to the needs of the family, we shut our Inner Child up. We silence them. The pain then festers like poison because eventually, we start doing that to our kids, too.

But how do you speak to them?

Speaking to our Inner Child is no easy task. We’re constantly living our lives on fast-forward, multi-tasking, thinking, and doing everything for everyone because someone has to do it. However, we need to consciously hit the brakes on ourselves. When something bad or painful happens, listen to the emotions you’re feeling. Pull yourself out of the situation if need be. Do not command yourself to not feel. Do not tell yourself that your being a parent means sacrificing your right to be angry, to be hurt, and to love yourself.

Then, the healing begins.

Being attuned to that voice makes us better parents to our kids.

Speaking and listening to our Inner Child allows us to become more empathetic to our child’s feelings. We recall the moments we made mistakes and the wishes of how our parents could have handled things better, revealing clues to what our kids learn from more when they’re stuck in a rut. After all, a child’s nature is 50% genetic. This means that their personality may make them more open to a parenting tactic you wished your parents did for you.

Looking for more qualities that make one a “good” parent?

Parents Can Build A Secure Attachment Style With Their Kids In These Ways
How To Break and Heal from Generational Trauma
8 Things Moms Shouldn’t Feel Guilty For