Google+ Authentic Parenting: Silencing the Voices in My Head

Friday, May 25, 2012

Silencing the Voices in My Head

Welcome to May edition of the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, hosted by Authentic Parenting and Mudpiemama. This month’s topic is “Parenting Practices and Criticism”. Please scroll down to the end of this post to find a list of links to the entries of the other participants. Enjoy!

Like most of us, I was raised to believe that expressing 'negative' emotions was wrong, that one should always behave in public, obey and that there's no room for authenticity. Like many of us, I was also very bad at following these rules and often felt the consequences.

For my children, I had decided that I would take a different path. I would allow my children to feel, to experience and to be themselves.

Now that's pretty simple in theory, but in reality it is ever so hard.

Allowing my children to express negative emotions, speak in tones I was prohibited and not to ask "how high" when I say "jump" is the hardest thing. Often I find myself being triggered and I want to respond in anger.

Mostly, I am not merely being triggered by my children's behavior, but by the voices in my head.

"You see, this parenting style is leading you nowhere."
"She's walking all over you."
"People are watching."
"She should know by now."

These are just a couple of examples, but sometimes these voices get so loud, they deafen all reason in me.

But all is not lost.

As soon as I realized the dynamic of this nagging in my head, I knew I could break it. Here's how:

1. I realized that being close to certain people makes the voices louder, so I moved a continent away.
2. Whenever I start wondering about what people think, I regroup, draw myself closer to my child and wonder about what she might be feeling instead.
3. I realized that what counts isn't the way strangers or others outside my core family unit think of me, what matters is my family's health and happiness.
4. When I find myself in a situation where the voices are being triggered, I try to get out of that situation.

Self criticism of this kind is destructive and meaningless, moreover, it doesn't even generate from the self, it is incited by the faulty mind frames that have been passed on to us. Hearing these negative things inside your head and pinpointing when and why they arise is a huge step into healing your inner child and becoming a better parent.

What are your voices telling you and how do you deal with them?


Visit The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Stepping out of the box and dealing with criticism   — Stoneageparent shares how she deals with criticism over her parenting choices 
  • BEWARE of Sanctimommy — Amanda at Blinded by the Light talks about how recognizing your own inner-sanctimommy and how it will facilitate ways to deal with other criticism in your life.
  • We're on the same team — Brittany from The Pistachio Project shares about how we should support and respect each other because we already get enough criticism from the outside world.
  • 30 Responses To Parenting Criticisms — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares 30 ways in which you can respond to parenting criticisms. 
  • A Case for the Dramatic — A smart-alec response to a stranger's view by Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy.
  • I Could Never... — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses how the phrase "I could never" really means "I would never want to" and how owning our words and actions can lead to understanding and empathy.
  • Admiration For A Parent's Strength— Jennifer at Our Muddy Boots shares her admiration for parents who continue  to make parenting choices in the best interest of their child even when those closest to them disagree.
  • Assumption Free Zone — Paige @ Baby Dust Diaries challenges us to cultivate kindness for everyone; even if you disagree with them.
  • Perfection, Criticism, Parenting and The Sock Police — Ariadne @ The Positive Parenting Connection is sharing how parenting has been an excercise in overcoming perfectionism and handling criticism.
  • Silencing the Voices In My Head — At Authentic Parenting, Laura writes about fighting her inner critic. 
  • Tackled from the Sidelines — Marisa from Deliberate Parenting reveals what parenting choices she makes that are most often questioned and how she is coming peacefully to the defense of her decisions.
  • Different Strokes — Justine from The Lone Home Ranger shares the method she uses to explain her family's "crunchy" differences to her preschooler.



  1. Great post!

    When ever I sense my insecurities prevailing - I make it a habit to take a moment - breathe - and focus on WHY I am feeling a certain way.

    It's usually based out of fear - fear of someone not liking me, fear of not being in control, fear that I might disappoint ....

    I agree - critism can always be dealt with by reaching inward ; )

  2. I definitely struggle with worrying this isn't working and my kids will be spoiled. But that isn't the case they just aren't little controlled, fearful creatures like many other kids. It is hard when everyone around you has well "behaved" kids to remind myself that "behaved" is NOT my goal. I think one of the ways I combat it is blogging. writing about why I do the things I do helps me reinforce it in my mind.


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