Are you giving your child what you need? Or what they need?

There was a moment in time, not long ago, that I had a massive parenting epiphany.

It dawned on me that I was giving my son what I needed…not what he needed.

I was unconsciously looking to fulfill my own childhood needs and tend to my own injuries through him, rather than taking an honest approach to assessing what he needed and who he was.

Woah! That was heavy!! This was a major eye-opening moment for me.

When I was a kid, I had a lot of wants and needs. They included stability, happiness, a sense of safety and comfort (I mean why was everyone was angry all the time?), less people coming and going from my life, and as a result…I needed a lot of help sorting out my feelings. Especially the ones that didn’t feel good like jealousy, not feeling loved and lack in general around all my basic human needs.

Fast forward a few decades and as I saw the + sign on the pregnancy test, I swore to myself at that moment I would give my child everything I didn’t have! Everything!

I was convinced this was the key to “being a PERFECT mom”. I would anticipate all of my child’s needs and make sure he had everything I didn’t have.

Slowly (over the first 5 years), it started to become obvious to me that this wasn’t working. We were both angry all time and not afraid to LOUDLY share our anger and frustration.

At first, I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t happy or getting it. I was busting my butt to make sure he had what I thought he needed. And to be completely honest, I was really angry that he wasn’t more grateful for all that I was doing.

Didn’t he know how much better his childhood was than mine?

Didn’t he know the effort my husband and I were putting into his happiness?

At the height of my frustration, was when I had my “epiphany” moment and experienced a profound shift.

I came to realize that the answer to my questions was “No!…He didn’t know.”

I mean, how could he? He wasn’t me and he hadn’t experienced the pain that I grew up with.

This was a defining moment on my path to peaceful parenting.

Once I understood that it was my past, my history, my stories that were guiding my decisions I was able to make several profound shifts and fire perfect parenting self!

I was able to heal my own childhood wounds which were controlling my beliefs as a mom.

And I was able to let go of my expectations of him (he should be grateful; he should be happy; he should not be bored), and just let him be his own person and have his own experience of things.

By healing my own childhood, I was able to be present with my son and tune into his current feelings and needs. And when I don’t know, I ask. I no longer assume I have the answers based on my own past.

Being present also allows me to be his “emotional coach” and help him navigate his big feelings and emotions. This is one of our greatest responsibilities as a parent…preparing our children for the world by teaching them how to effectively deal with whatever life throws at us…disappointment and upset included.

Take a moment and ask yourself a few questions…

How is your childhood getting in the way of your parenting?

Is it possible that it’s holding you back from the relationship you crave with your children?

If you aren’t truly enjoying parenting, what beliefs are you holding on to that aren’t serving you or your child?

I work with parents to sift through their emotions, disappointment and stories and guide them through the process of healing so they can show up and be fully present as parents.

And when we invest in ourselves and our family in this way, Magic happens! You create deep connection with your kids and find peace in your home.

If my story connected with you and you feel you could benefit from letting go of the beliefs and stories that impacting your parenting, click HERE to schedule a free 30-minute discovery session with me and we’ll jump right in.

It will be the most impactful 30 minutes you spend this year…I promise.

Lisa Smith
About the author

Lisa Smith

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