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Guide Overview

Your Childhood Story

This video addresses the ways that our own childhood experiences affect our parenting and why we need to address them in order to effectively offer our children a secure experience.
February 24, 2023
Summary Notes

Reflection on childhood is important for providing a secure experience for children

Human beings process experiences through sensory and story elements

A healthy attachment relationship in childhood results in a compassionate, complex story about oneself

An absence of care in childhood can lead to an avoidance strategy, affecting the capacity to respond to children's feelings

Intermittently available caregivers can result in a confused narrative about oneself

Abusive or neglectful caregivers can result in harsh inner narratives

Processing and reworking experiences with a safe and loving support system is the most effective way to resolve childhood traumas

The process involves acknowledging experiences, talking about them, reworking the narrative, and allowing oneself to feel grief

Parenting From The Inside Out by Dan Siegel and Mary Hartsell is a recommended resource for reflecting on childhood experiences

A workbook is due to be released in January 2024, to help walk through reflection, grieving, and healing from insecure attachment experiences.

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 I wanna give you some insight into why the research shows we need to do our own reflection on our own childhood in order to be the secure experience our children need from us. Human beings have two elements in terms of how we process experience. One of them is sensory, so our nervous system processes and experience we go through.

And the other one is story. So we have a narrative that develops in response to something we. This is an especially important thing when it comes to our early attachment relationship. If you were one of those people lucky enough to grow up in a home where you had caregivers who were there for you emotionally, most of the time, enough of the time is what we say, good enough parents, then you likely have a story about yourself that is compassionate, that is complex, meaning that you might say, yeah, I struggled with this or that, or my parents struggled with this or that, but deeply on some core level I felt loved and I felt supported, and I knew they would be there.

you will have nuance to your story, but your story will be.  very focused on the repair part of the relationship. So yes, things would get hard, but then you would find a way to come back together. But if you grew up in a home where there was no care, so emotionally there was no care, maybe your lunches were always packed, everything was tied up in a bow, but there wasn't any attunement to what you felt, then you developed what is called an avoidance strategy.

And an avoidance strategy will result in the absence of specific details in your story about your. . Someone will say, how was your childhood? And you'll say, it's good. And they'll say, well, what was good about it? And you'll go, I mean, there's nothing bad. This lack of story will influence your capacity to sit in the feelings that your children will have, and to be able to respond to them in ways that are affirming and supportive instead of dismissive or shutdown.

If you grew up in a home where caregivers were intermittently available, meaning maybe you had a parent that could be really loving and warm and supportive, but they worked a ton and so they weren't always there, and so you relied on another parent who wasn't that way, or maybe you had a parent who when they were drinking, they were really loving, but not when they weren't, or vice versa.

They were really loving when they weren't drinking, not when they weren't. You had this experience of never knowing whether or not you were going to get. What we know is that you likely have a very confused narrative about yourself. So feeling like it might have been your fault or you were unworthy, blaming yourself for things that you couldn't control or predict.

And in the very hardest category of all, if you had caregivers who were abusive or extremely neglectful of your body and your needs, you probably have some immensely harsh inner narratives about. Off. The most effective way we know for these things to be resolved is for you to have a safe, loving, caring space where you get to process your experiences and begin to rethink them.

Rework them in your narrative to look back at that younger part of you and go, oh, I was doing the best I could, and the people who were available to me weren't able to help me. That doesn't mean I was bad or wrong or too much, it means my environment wasn't able to give me what I. , you might be able to do this with a partner or a friend if your story or narrative is maybe lower on the spectrum of trauma.

If you have a lot of pain as, as you're listening to me, if you're noticing a lot of pain rising in your body, I really hope you will go find a therapist or somebody who can sit with you and help you work through those stories. The two components of knowing your story are being able. , acknowledge what it was that happened and to talk about it and rework that narrative and to allow yourself to feel the grief that is there.

Because all of us long, all of us long to have caregivers who are in tune with us, in sync with us, and able to accurately meet our needs and help us feel secure and safe If you are reviewing this and recognizing like, Ooh, there's a lot there. My workbook is gonna be coming out in January of 2024. I wish it was coming out sooner, but it's coming out January, 2024, and I will help you walk through in that guided workbook, all of the things to help you reflect and grieve, and then begin to learn the skills that help you heal from that insecure attachment experience between now and then.

The Book Parenting From The Inside Out by Dan Siegel and Mary Hartsell. Really great resource for beginning to reflect on how you grew up and what that was like, and understanding some of the research on why doing this is helpful.