Parenting Yourself, Seriously

How Do You Parent Children If You Do Not Remember Your Own Childhood?


Research shows most should remember their childhood from about 4 years and up; unless your memory is suppressing negative events.

The area of mental development from birth to age 3 or 4 in which children and adults cannot recall is called Childhood or Infantile Amnesia; caused by the underdevelopement of the cognitive area responsible for storing and encoding memory.

Around the age of 7-10 years, the mind goes through a forgetful stage which unimportant short term and long term memories are quickly forgotten. However, ages 11 and up show equal remembering and forgetting abilities to that of an average adult.

Some, however, say they don’t remember their childhood at all.

If you don’t remember what it’s like to be a child yourself, can you really parent confidently? If you don’t take the time to understand, learn, read, etc., about a child’s mental development and emotional needs, to make up for what you don’t remember, how can you be sure they aren’t hurting from what they are lacking from you? Are you not afraid to make mistakes realizing that the interpretation of a child versus an adult is vastly different?

On another note, are you not concerned that you don’t remember your childhood?

Those who do not remember their childhood at all should to seek assistance in recovering those forgotten memories, as they are the key to becoming a better parent and creating a better childhood. In remembering your childhood, you learn as an adult who you were as a child. Furthermore, understanding your childhood aids in the process of self-understanding and indentifying unknown triggers, mindsets, moods, and reactions towards your children’s behavior.

Read my page on identifying your unknown triggers here.

Oftentimes, lack of childhood memories is a result of suppressing events as a survival instinct. A tactic in place by nature to let you move forward. Sometimes it’s a conscious choice and sometimes it is a subconscious choice. The cause behind memory suppressing does not always need to be traumatic events or devastating circumstances. It can be caused due to a progression of disappointment and sadness. It can be caused due to confusing times you didn’t understand. It can be even be due to a time that was once so happy but no longer exists. A time your mind chooses to forget to prevent yearning for it, and the pain of remembering what you don’t have anymore.

Neglect during early development can produce severe psychopathologies, such as depression and anxiety, as well as learning and cognitive disabilities.
If you were depressed or anxious during your childhood, there is much benefit from remembering and understanding it so that you can make sure to not repeat the patterns your parents did. More importantly, it helps you remember and understand how life is interpreted through the eyes of a child.

As a child passed the age of autobiographical memory developement, childhood recollection is often also associated with a sense of identity. I.e., a childhood spent not knowing who you are is difficult for the brain to process memories, resulting in areas of lost time when reflecting back to younger ages.

If you are one who doesn’t remember your childhood, when did you start remembering?

When do your recollections of memories begin?

Why do you think you don’t remember your childhood?

Why do you think you started remembering when you did?

How old were you when you start at remembering? What was going on in your life?

If you are interested in trying to retrieve some of the lost memories:

As well as the frame in which they exist, researchers Bauer and Larkina (2013) used the Cued Recall method. At the end of the study, it was found most memories started between the ages of 3 and 5. Unfortunately, the downfall to this test and method of retrieval is that the memories are formed months after their association with word given, and time frames are a mere estimate without verification by an additional adult who was there during the memory.

During the Cued Recall method, a person/experimenter gives a participant one word at a time, and the participant responds with the first association with that word that comes to mind and the earliest time in their life they can recall it.


Resources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/media-spotlight/201404/exploring-childhood-amnesia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childhood_amnesia

http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/0882-7974.12.3.524

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5473198/

Heim and Nemeroff, 2001; https://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=Heim+and+Nemeroff,+2001&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3D1ny1ngwAVFMJ

Other researchers and their articles:
Pryce ., 2005; Zeanah ., 2009; Bale., 2010; Perry and Sullivan, 2014).

Voice boxing it

When You Can Convince Any Man To Like You; Except For Your Own Father


Many know the saying ‘momma’s boy’ and ‘daddy’s girl’ – because it’s supposed to be a natural, special bond.

As I’ve mentioned in my blog before, I grew up in a broken home. Quite honestly, both my parents broke my heart as a child is many ways. And although that all has made me strive harder than anything to be the best person I can be, and resilient to many things – that’s not an ideal way to build resilience, nor should it and can it ever excuse what I went through. I became that way because I was running. I was determined to never have to depend on them ever again. I’ve shared many minor difficulties from growing up, but never the true devastating and traumatic events I went through.

However, one thing that I frequently think about, despite the mostly-healed wounds, is the father daughter relationship I longed for. Even the mother daughter relationship that I needed still partially hurts to this day, but I was at least more easily able to be my own mother. But it hurt. It hurt to be 14 with a broken heart whispering to yourself ‘its going to be okay baby, I got you, I got you.’ To have to visualize the older version of yourself coming to hold you, help you, save you.

That’s why I became who I am today, I was the only person I could rely on.
I got into fitness, the tougher I was, the tougher I felt. I would hit the gym pumping iron everyday. I needed to be an intimidation factor to every man I encountered. Not because I hate them in the slightest, but because I wanted to feel in control. I pursued wrestling in highschool to express some dominence and control and emotion. I worked in an autoshop on and off through highschool, and went to college later for a machinist.

Being the tomboy I was, I had a lot of guy friends. In my head I would combined their personalities to make each and every one of them some sort of role model in my life. At one point when during high school, I nominated one of my best guy friends the title of being like my brother. I made him in charge of deciding whether or not a guy was appropriate for me to date or sleep with. That’s how desperate I was to have a father figure, a real father, in my life. One that I had a bond with. So yes, I found some sort of family-relation-type resemblance in any male I became friends with.

Unfortunately, I still ended up looking for attention from anyone who would give it to me. I could convince myself that I like any guy that would give me the time of day. That if I was treated poorly in a relationship that that was just part of a relationship, because that was part of the relationship with my parents. It was normal for me. I didn’t have anyone to have any say in who I dated… if someone did have something to say, it was my mother. And I hated anything she ever had to say about anything. Her perspective on life was and is very upside down the majority of the time. Combine that with a complete and entire lack of a real bond with her and feeling of being cared about, and I wouldn’t even give what she had to say a time of day to think about

When I was 17 I had had enough of dealing with father – and mother – so I ended up moving in with one of my other best guy friends who was also like a brother to me. His family partially adopted me. Partially being that it wasn’t legal or anything of the sort, but that they took me in and treated me like I was one of their own. To this day considered them My adoptive family. And although my so-called adoptive father is a wonderful man that I can talk to anyting about, this void from my real father forever follows me around.

It all made me cold inside, and needy for attention. It was part of what started my anxiety, always feeling like a burden to people. Being trapped in a place of ‘I can do it myself’ and ‘I need you, don’t leave me’. It was part of what made me depressed.

I had even made one last attempt to reconnect with my biological father when I got engaged years ago. We met for lunch. I told him I wanted to wipe the Slate clean, forget about everything and move forward. For both of us. His response was ‘I don’t really like you right now’.
He wasn’t too keen on loving me the way a father should love his daughter. It wasn’t until he met my fiance at the time, now my husband, and learned that he was an electrician and had a good life and a good future, that my biological father expressed any concern for wanting to be part of my life again. So I closed that door and I never talked to him again. Although I didn’t have much hope going into that lunch, there was just enough hope that although it did not hit me immediately, it resonated with me overtime and festered.

Now that I am a grown adult, a liscenced trades woman, a homeowner, and a mother, there’s so many moments and things I wanted to share with my parents if I had had a loving, caring, understanding bond with them.

Instead, every shop I’ve worked and made friends at, I just end up giving them a family title in my head. For example, one guy is like my work father, another guy is like an uncle, another is like a brother. All of this was one-sided though, and temporary. It was to just make me feel like I was part of something. I always feel like the Lone Wolf. I just wanted a father-daughter relationship. One of the last jobs I worked at, my supervisor and I were very close in terms of friendship. He was just easy to talk to, joke around with, be honest with, express emotion with. Nothing remotely in the sexual nature. He had told me that he had never had kids but a part of him always wanted them. He had told me, he too had a very traumatic experience with his own father – his biological father, and that he no longer talks to him either. He understands the pain that that leaves in a child. Naturally he became another father figure to me, but not so temporary.

In fact, to this day I consider him like a father to me even though I don’t work at that shop anymore. He has helped me immensely through my struggles, as has My adoptive family. Both of them being there whenever I was in a hard place. My so-called work father and adoptive father both were upgraded to grandparent titles when I had a baby with my husband. Both of them I introduced to my child as his grandparents.

So needless to say I have found a concoction of made-up family members and many people and many men. My adoptive father was the one to walk me down the aisle when I got married. That was an amazing feeling, it was the closest thing I ever experienced to the bond I’ve saught for.

Despite all my random pieces of Father Like figures in my life I still am in progress of working on trying to close the void. Trying to convince myself that it is enough. Trying to convince myself to stop looking for father figures to make up for the one I don’t have

I mean, any man I work with or I’m around who gets to know me often takes a liking to me. How can I convince any man to treat me almost as if I am their stepdaughter, or to like me in any way, but I can’t even convince my own father to?

Do you see the damage not having a father does to a child?

Now don’t get me wrong, 7/8 of me is a big load of fuck you fuck him and a whole basket of fucks to go with it. But it’s like someone died for me. I’ll be fine most of the time but every now and then this minuscule thought will pop into my head and I won’t be able to stop circulating it. To actually drop it and move on because I despise the feeling. And again I’m a big load of fuck you.

Verdict of my story is, parents need to show up. They NEED to meet the emotional needs of their children. They NEED to be empathetic, understanding, and compassionate.
Otherwise they leave their children with a lifetime worth of struggles. We are not military robots; We are humans.

Voice boxing it

Duplicating Your Emotions


We often unintentionally duplicate our emotions, unnecessarily making them overall harder on us.


For example, you’ve been going through a hard time, and then one day it gets a little easier and you feel content. But you don’t just feel content, you almost feel airy; almost like you’re excited. You don’t know why, but you do know that you feel content for once finally.

What you don’t know, and what takes a lot of time and practiced to realize, is that you also feel happy that you feel content. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – except that it stops you from living in the moment and feeling content. You end up focusing on the fact that you’re happy that you’re content, not that you’re content. Confusing I know, but follow me?

Likewise, the same thing happens when we experience negative emotions. Having a bad day, quite often we don’t just have a bad day. Often having a bad day results with us feeling frustrated. Which is normal.
But then we end up duplicating and intensifying this emotion by feeling frustrated that we feel frustrated.

Although it doesn’t apply to everyone, as some people have a much more balanced sense of emotions and self understanding, some of us find themselves struggling with emotions much more.

I encourage everyone to seek out counselling and therapy and self-help when they find themselves having a hard time. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with you, just that an alternative perspective is often very helpful when we become stuck in our mind and stuck in our ways.

Understanding cognitive behavioral therapy is a major component of self understanding and emotional regulation. Sometimes those who struggle with emotional regulation end up finding themselves on a rollercoaster of moods and sensations.

What I came to realize overtime and over many years of struggling with my mental health and emotional regulation, is that I find myself on a roller coaster quite often.

I believe everyone knows the saying, “I’m so sick and tired of feeling so sick and tired.” Again, it’s a totally reasonable feeling and thought.

The point of this right now is just to help you and everyone else reading this understand part of what’s going on inside your brain. There’s many components to learn and realize, this is just a slice of them.

An example of a roller coaster day for me, would be: Emotion one, feeling frustrated from an argument or situation that didn’t go over smoothly. Emotion two, I realize that this is not what I was hoping my day would be or how I was feeling, so I become more frustrated. Emotion three, In my frustration I begin to think of the negative aspects that happened in the situation, and naturally in consequence I think about other related negative aspects and start feeling depressed. I end up focusing on the re-occurrence in life of negative feelings feel depressed that I feel frustrated so often and about being frustrated from the situation.

I’m stuck in a paradox.

I later go home after work and things go well and we have fun and we laugh and our son goes to bed in a good mood, so the next day I feel content. I end up feeling happy that I feel content. And then I feel relieved that I’m feeling happy because I feel content.

And although positive feelings are often seen as, well, good things; there is such thing as too much of a good thing. The higher you feel – the farther you have to fall when you experience something of the opposite of emotion.

This is where balancing the brain left and right, upstairs and downstairs, understanding your amygdala, and the thoughts-feelings-actions triangle come into play. To understand that part, click here and check out my page explaining this.

What I’d like you to realize, takes time and self-reflection. Quite often we experience reactions to events considered that are like a knee-jerk reaction or an automatic thought.

We miss the few seconds between thought and emotion and are able to turn that thought around and influence a different emotion. Sometimes that’s not always possible, but we miss the moment of realization of the emotion blooming.

When we begin to express a thought that turns itself into an emotion, there is a sensation felt inside the body. Whether it be a tightness in your head, tightness in your chest, punching of the hand, an automatic response sensation so to speak.

It takes one recognizing that automatic response to interrupt the thought that wants to come with it.

So what I want you to try the next day following, is self-awareness. If you find yourself responding before you feel you should have this is for you. If you find yourself in arguments often, or internal tribulations, this is for you. Right before you say something or you think something – there’s a sensation felt inside the body, triggered by the perception in the brain. Try to change that trigger instead of making a thought, and inturn another action. Take a deep breath and hold it. Try to name whatever feeling that is inside your body before your thought is created.

Did you feel your head go tight? Was there a pressure in your chest? Or is there a surge of energy through your arm that made you want to clench your fist? Did you have a surge of sensation through your chest that made you want to quickly deeply inhale, say with excitement?

What this does is help bring the logical side of the brain back to the emotional side. Quite often we become infatuated with the effect emotion brings us. And it overwhelms our senses and focus.

**This does not indicate mental health issues or mental conditions, or medication side effects.
This is not meant to override any suggestions, instructions or medication given by that of a specialist. Please seek advise of a specialist if you feel you need to do so.**

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A New Way To See Change


Imagine a forest you must travel every day to get to your destination.

After days and weeks and months of taking the same path you always have,
there is a trail worn in and the path is easy to see and travel on. It also
happens to seem like the quickest way there because it’s now been the road most
traveled on.

Every time you take this way though, you have to go through a swamp.
The swamp is not easy and there’s bugs and creatures in it you don’t like but
you take it anyway because that’s just the path you take to get where you’re
going.

Then one day you’ve had enough. You decide to try another way, and instead
of taking the frequently tread, common path, you decide to make your way through
the tall grass where there is no trail. It takes longer at first, you have to
break down the grass and push sticks and logs and large plants out of your way.

Once you finally reach your destination, it’s taken twice as long as the other
path – but there was no swamp this time. No bugs and creatures and animals of
threat lurking. So you take the path the next time and the next time and the
next time.

Soon, the path begins to wear itself in, and it no longer takes twice as long as the other, but the same about of time. And as this new path wears into the ground and becomes the new “common path”, the old path with the swamp grows over. It’s no longer traveled on, and you can’t even see it anymore. 

That’s how change works. In your mind when changing your ways, habits and automatic thoughts; And in life when looking at things metaphorically. It’s hard at first, but perseverance and repetition will lead you to where you want to go.

 

A section I wrote from my site page, Parenting Kids, Seriously.

https://thejudgementalmom.com/kids-seriously/2/

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It’s A Sh*tting Rainbows Kind Of Day


Who has time for self-care. When you work full time and are a mom full time and a wife full time. When you come home from work and have an hour to spend with your son, and have supper, and let him have a bath (because he wants the bath) and get him ready for bed and for you to shower and then go to bed.

It’s a day that you remember that you are the glue that holds everything together. And that with out the small family that surrounds you, you have no one. And that you have no one else to help you but yourself.

Its a day where you’re fighting yourself to make it through work. Fighting the frustaration at work. Fighting the frustrations at home with your loved one. Fighting to keep it together for your child. Fighting to keep an income in and keep the bills paid.

Its a day where you rememeber all the hard times you’ve gone through with and without your family. And how far you have came.

Its a day that you realize nothing gets easier the older you get. That the more responsible you are, the more responsibilities you have. That farther you have to fall.

Its a day where you know you have to keep telling yourself that “this day is so fast, this day is so easy, I’m in such a good mood”. Even though its all lies youre just trying to make yourself believe to make it a little easier.

Its a day you rememeber that you’re not the only one fighting this fight, but knowing that doesn’t really make a difference, if anything it makes this world a darker place.

So you think of your child and the smile their face brings. And remember the light that they are cause you know deep down that somedays they are your only reason to keep going.

Yeah, I’m shitting rainbows today. I even put on my socks that say so.

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The Heartache Of A Working Mom


I hate that someone else has to watch my child during the day.

I hate that they don’t hold him the way I would hold him.

I hate that they are not gentle with him and understanding the way I am.

I hate that they don’t pay attention to him every time he’s trying to talk to them or show them something.

I hate when he gets blamed for something he didn’t do, or when hes takes something from another child but they discipline the other child instead of my son.

I hate that other people watch other people’s children and don’t have the connection or patience for them because they are not their own children.

I hate when they get frustrated because there’s so much going on in a day, and so many little people to care for.

I hate that I sit at work just wanting to go and hold my child.

I hate that there are times throughout the day that my child needs me and I am not there for him.

I hate that I can’t always see what’s always going on and there are things they don’t tell me because they don’t think they are share-worthy.

I hate the ache in my heart that I hold through the day because I miss my child and I am missing these times with my child. Time already goes as fast as it does. I love my job and I love who I am at my job; I love being a mother more.

I hate that I worked so hard to get where I am in my career but I would rather be home with my child.

I hate how much my heart hurts everyday yearning to be with my son and my family.

I hate how hard the world is , and how much harder it is when you are a parent.

I hate that the world does not understand the pain and the heartache on the struggles of being a parent unless those listening are also a parent.

I hate that there is such diversity in parenting, judgment and misunderstanding of little people. I hate that children’s emotions get dismissed; It’s as if no one remembers when they themselves were a child.

I hate how much more hate I hold now that I am a mom.