Things You Can Tell Your Children But Not Your Inner Child
As a parent of four stepchildren and two biological ones, I wasn’t thrilled to find out I had yet another child to parent. The thought made me want to run to the nearest hospital and get an emergency hysterectomy or lobotomy. But, alas, as we all know, running from the Inner Child (IC) doesn’t work: we have all tried…and tried…and tried. Instead, it’s about embracing and re-parenting so, I thought that with all of my child-raising experience, I could offer you some “sage” advice for dealing with the latest child we’ve added to our lives:
1. No, you cannot have a cookie before supper
IC does not care what you say about sweets. Furthermore, one cookie is never enough. Don’t be surprised if the whole package is gone before you finish saying, “chocolate chip”. As you stare aghast at the empty cookie container, IC is gleefully licking chocolate and crumbs from her fingers as she gives you the middle finger.
2. Go to your room for a time out
Of course, IC has perfected the much-loved, teenager eye roll and head shake. IC is also the Queen of time outs and thinks you’re obviously a very dumb parent (as are all parents of teenagers according to any teenager I’ve ever met). Thanks to the wonderful world of disassociation this is not much of a threat. She will thank you and grab a snack on the way to enjoy some alone time away from thoroughly annoying parents.
3. Finish your homework before you go out to play
IC does what she wants when she wants. If there is a way to procrastinate doing any kind of work, she will find it. Important activities such as clipping toenails, surfing the internet for anything new and improved, staring into space, and counting the number of tiles on the kitchen floor are all much more important than any adult responsibilities. The biggest victims of this mood are work, personal hygiene, and house cleaning. So now, not only do you have the guilt and frustration of trying to get moving, but you also stink and have no money. She couldn’t be happier and slyly grins as she wipes orange, Cheetos-soaked fingers on the couch as she scours the internet for pictures of cats.
On the other hand, there are three simple things that you can say to both your children and your inner child: I love you; I’ve got you; I’m here. Three simple lines that are so not simple. It’s hard work and takes a boatload of courage but remember, I love you; I’ve got you and I’m here.