When you are first conceived you are part of your mother. A symbiotic relationship is created. When your mother become a mother through you, you have started internalizing her as a parent- your inner mother.
Your mother or the nurse who brought you out of the delivery room has introduced you to your father. There starts the relationship with the man who created you. You start forming the inner father image through this experience.
The relationship with your parents create the inner parents in you. You develop an inner child in you through the relation with your parents as well. Also the world around you shapes the child in you. The inner dynamics of parent-child starts within you.
The early experience of a child with parent forms the world view through which they see the world. It is where the inner lens of rosiness or darkness are formed. A child who had a difficult relation with the parent say neglect or abuse may have difficulty forming trust with others as they grow up. If this experience is not aware the child may grow up into an adult who have similar parenting tendency. Thus creating a generational cycle of distress and problems within a family. You can break the cycle by being aware of your own pattern and actively take steps to recognize and work in changing dysfunctional patterns.
These patterns can be seen related to the inner child and patterns related to the inner parent. How you parent yourself shows how you look at yourself and how you treat yourself and others. Sometimes there maybe an hypocrisy in the way you treat yourself and others. Again it is learned and imbibed. Having double standards for treating yourself and others have to do also with recognizing that the standards you created or the pattern through which you judge or look at people is dysfunctional or at least not appropriate. This may also transfer to how you treat your child once you become a parent. Thus creating an inter-generational dysfunction.
What do children expect from parents? Safety, nurturing, protection and playmate. How do we provide this to our child? How were we provided as a child? How do we provide our inner child? The child in you doesn’t grow, it is that part in you that is primarily concerned with your survival and sustenance. It is that part in you that seeks pleasure. It is also that part in you that doesn’t like hardship and most vulnerable to suffering. You can train your inner child. Most of us try to reduce suffering in our life and it is natural and there is nothing wrong in that. What makes us dysfunctional is when we only seek pleasure and avoid hard work/ hardships. Hard work and challenges are necessary in life in order to grow and evolve.
Start observing your relationship with your parents. Start looking at it in also greys instead of just black and white. You start seeing both sides of the picture. You start forgiving your parents and yourself. You start seeing your parents as human beings with their own strengths and limitations. Our inner fear towards any parental figure reduces because we start seeing adults as human beings with strengths and limitations. We better accept them. The same way we start accepting ourselves as human beings with strength and weakness as well. This cures the obsession with perfection and high standards. We will start being less critical and punitive with ourselves.
It is important to heal your inner parent and inner child in order to fully function as an individual and maybe in future be a better parent. You don’t need to be perfect but give it your best. Our parents too gave their best. They have done what they can and we need to learn to appreciate whatever they were able to do from their limitations. Let us create a healthy world for our children.