The Connection Between Parenting & Your Health
How many times have you found yourself saying to your kids “Why are you doing that? What’s wrong with you? What were you thinking?!”
And for those who don’t have kids…just hang on here because this has to do with you too (I will show you what I mean in a bit, so read on).
You’re probably wondering what parenting has to do with your current state of health? The answer is: likely, a lot.
It’s not just about how you are parenting today, but it’s also about how you were parented that is affecting your health, (so the people who don’t have kids…here’s where this becomes about you too!).
The way we parent is often a direct reflection of how we were parented. So, you can use your parenting style as an indicator of how you were likely parented, which then created the beliefs through which you see yourself and your children.
The Pain of My Child Became The Pain In My Body
When I had my child I felt this was my opportunity to create this amazing relationship and experience with my child. But, when things didn’t turn out as planned (i.e. he didn’t turn out to be what I expected), and the experience was a lot more stressful than I thought, I was in for a real dose of inner struggle and pain.
Eventually, I hit rock bottom and was diagnosed CFS/ME and later Fibromyalgia. I was in emotional pain about my life with this child and that inner pain was creating ill health and physical pain in my body.
When our experience with our children becomes painful and a struggle, then this is a mirror indicating to us what belief systems we may be living through, and it is these belief systems that are affecting our overall health.
When it comes down to it, we are either in stress or rest and repair. We cannot heal while we are in stress. So, the key thing to understand is what beliefs about our children are stressing us out? Whatever we are believing about our children is likely to be a belief we carry about ourselves…and this is living in our bodies creating ill health.
What You Believe About Your Child Is Actually About You
Have you ever thought of your child as being “bad” or “defiant” if he or she got angry? Have you sometimes thought of them as “being lazy” or “irresponsible”? Have you found yourself worrying about them not “doing enough” with their lives or being too emotional and sensitive?
If you have, then let’s take a moment to unpack this a little.
If you watched Video #2 from my free mini-course: From Emotional Stress To Optimal Health, then you learned about the common beliefs that drive emotional stress and ill health in the body.
If you see your child as “bad” or “defiant” for being angry then you likely are living through the belief “It’s not right for me to be angry” and “I’m not lovable if I’m angry.”
If you sometimes see your child as “lazy” or “irresponsible” then you may be living through the belief “I don’t exist unless I do something. I must justify my existence.”
If you find yourself worrying about your child being too emotional or sensitive, then you are likely living through the belief “I have to be strong.”
According to Dr. Gabor Maté, and the research he did for his book When The Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress, and in my own experience working with clients, all of the beliefs mentioned above are common beliefs found in people with chronic illness and pain.
You likely learned these beliefs through your own experience with your parents and they are now living on through your experience with your children.
For those who don’t have kids, you can reflect on your own parents’ reactions to you, what you learned about yourself from those experiences, and who you “had to be” to be loved and accepted…because that’s all we want as children and we will do anything to get that love.
A Shift In Perspective = A Shift In Health
So, we can take this opportunity (yes it’s an opportunity!) to really reflect on our parenting style and use our reactions to our children, and our worries about them, to really see what beliefs we are living through that may be affecting our own health.
As you may know from Dr. Bruce Lipton and Dr. Candace Pert’s work on the mind-body connection, our thoughts and beliefs (which then create our emotional experiences) really do have a direct influence on our bodies, down to the cellular and genetic levels.
So, the next time your kids piss you off, thank them! They are just being a mirror reflecting the belief that is living within you. From a higher perspective, our children are really here to teach us, as much as we are there to guide and help them.
When we open up to seeing our children from this lens, then there is a lot we can learn about ourselves in the process. Our children present opportunities to become more aware and conscious about ourselves, so go ahead and use those opportunities for growth and expansion.
Working on your beliefs about your children (a.k.a working on your beliefs about yourself) and shifting these beliefs to healthier ones can not only impact your health in a positive way, but can also improve your relationship with your children. It’s a win-win!
For more help and guidance on parenting and supporting yourself on this journey, tune into the Beyond Parenthood Summit airing this week, May 6-16th. My talk on “Beliefs & Emotional Stress” as it relates to parenting will air on Monday May 13th. You can tune in at this link: http://bit.ly/Afshan-BPS
Also, check out my FREE Mini-Course: From Emotional Stress To Optimal Health, and learn how to shift from a state of physical and emotional suffering to one of hope, possibility, vitality and ease.