From the outside looking in, people have varying perceptions about Self-Parenting…
What it is… what it does… what it is “just like…”
But for those of us on the inside looking out, we have a remarkably similar perspective.
By practicing the SELF-PARENTING Program we experience something we have never experienced in any other way, the on-going power and intimacy of a conscious, one-to-one relationship, with our Inner Child.
People who don’t practice half-hour sessions of Self-Parenting are not going to feel this power. They may imagine they are connected to their Inner Child. They might tell you how much they are “in touch” with their Inner Child.
But the proof is in the practice, and as any daily practitioner of the SELF-PARENTING Program will tell you, there is a big difference between practicing and not practicing daily half-hour sessions.
Whether or not a person engages in conscious half-hour sessions with his or her Inner Child, they are still Self-Parenting (unconsciously) within their mind. Nothing changes in that regard.
I have certainly met many people who were “in touch” with their Inner Child to some degree. Its not unheard of, especially if that person had positive outer parenting. However, the majority of people are simply Self-Parenting inside their minds with zero awareness of this process. It’s their unconscious IP that is the problem, not the IC of which they may be somewhat aware.
One point is clear: no matter who you are or how advanced you have become in personal growth areas, after practicing conscious and directed half-hour sessions of positive Self-Parenting, you will be more “in touch” with your Inner Child.
The following outline speaks to how long it takes for your daily sessions to begin to impress your Inner Child as far as he/she is concerned.
Three to six months (90-180 days) is the approximate amount of time needed for your Inner Child to begin to trust the foundation of experience and security that comes from practicing daily SP sessions.
With each time frame comes deeper levels of inner appreciation for your Self-Parenting progress. When you are observing the suggested guidelines, your pace is possible to predict and your progress guaranteed.
One principle to keep in mind during your first 3-6 months is that a beginning Self-Parenting student is a beginning Self-Parenting student. Trust me; no matter how cocky you think you are as an Inner Parent, you know nothing about the S/P process yet. It is not possible to accomplish three months of Self-Parenting in three weeks. It will take you one full year of daily half-hour sessions to reach the one-year point. Your awareness and understanding of your Self-Parenting style will continue to improve three weeks, three months, and three years from now.
During the first three months of practicing the SELF-PARENTING Program, I recommend spending most of your time, as the Inner Parent, just asking questions and listening to your Inner Child’s answers. Although this may seem like a passive role, it takes a very strong Inner Parent to consciously follow this practice. The challenge is to remain positive without slipping into a negative pattern learned from your outer parenting, a tricky task (and a worthy goal) for most Inner Parents.
It is not easy simply to only listen. In fact, for the typical Inner Parent, this step is quite difficult. After all, how often did your parents ask you a question and then allow you to:
This is part of the problem during the first three months of Self-Parenting. If you had mostly negative role models to emulate as a child, you will have developed mostly negative Self-Parenting skills. So the first skill these sessions teach you is simply to:
I can promise you, by just asking questions of your Inner Child, you will learn more than you ever thought possible.
If your IC gets emotional, just stick with the listening. Trying to soothe, advise, or comfort an emotional Inner Child during your early sessions of Self-Parenting is actually negative Self-Parenting. Your only role as the Inner Parent is to demonstrate acceptance by responding to any hurt or hostile emotions from your Inner Child with, “Thank you, Inner Child, for telling me that.” This is far and away the most effective approach.
Not only is it the safest way to prevent yourself from being a negative Inner Parent, it is also the first time in your life that your Inner Child will have been heard “completely” without a litany of feedback, negative or positive. And it will be allowed to feel what he/she feels, without being judged or corrected, encouraged or told not to feel that way.
During the first three months of Self-Parenting, three enhancements occur simultaneously in the relationship between your Inner Parent and Inner Child. This is built into the process. Just by following the 23-Tips, the following takes place:
- You are building trust.
- You are establishing consistency.
- You are creating awareness and opening communication between your Inner Parent and Inner Child.
Prior to starting half-hour sessions, your Inner Child knows that you, as the Inner Parent, were not listening to him/her. This caused the Inner Child to feel isolated and unloved and results in your Inner Child not trusting you. How would you feel if every time you asked for support or tried to express your feelings to your parents or best friend, you were either abused or ignored?
Your Inner Child is hungry for attention. Attention and love are the same to your Inner Child. Most people do not care enough about their Inner Child to devote a daily thirty-minute session to the little darling. This plainly tells the Inner Child that it is not important to the Inner Parent; that it is unloved.
If you always promise your best friend you are going to get together but you never do, what does that tell your best friend? What does that say about you as a friend? In a similar manner, many people either ignore completely or pay only lip service to their Inner Child. Daily half-hour sessions put you in an elite group of people actually practicing what they preach.
Daily sessions of Self-Parenting are “proof” to your Inner Child that you, its Inner Parent, is committed to caring for it on a physical, “real world” basis. Thirty minutes of your Inner Parent’s precious time has a real value that the Inner Child truly knows and learns to appreciate in a very specific way. Having begun sessions, you have established a new standard for your Self-Parenting relationship. After three months, your Inner Child will finally, though perhaps begrudgingly, become convinced enough to trust that you will continue this wonderful procedure he/she so desperately craves.
Consistency is very important to your Inner Child. Complete consistency with your sessions for 90 days is the proof your Inner Child needs to believe you will continue sessions. After all, you have started many positive practices before and then given them up. Consistency with your sessions guarantees your Inner Child that he/she will have the time needed to talk and share with you, as well as time to work out problems you may have with each other.
Ninety days is the approximate amount of time it takes for the average Inner Child to develop a stable foundation of trust and security as well as to feel confident that the Inner Parent will continue these precious sessions as part of its daily routine.
Before starting half-hour sessions, your perception of which voice is your Inner Parent and which is your Inner Child will be unclear. Each session during your first month contributes to more certainty and understanding in this regard. If you are in a support group you will probably have at least two or three episodes in the first three months during which you discover the voice you thought was your Inner Child was actually your Inner Parent or vice-versa.
For example, one Self-Parenting student reading an Inner Conflict out loud was flabbergasted when everyone in his support group pointed out that it was his Inner Child who wanted to clean the car on Saturday morning, not his Inner Parent. He had spent the whole weekend blaming his IC, for what the IP caused. This is more common than you might know.
You will also find many occasions during the first three months in which the voice of your Inner Child will surprise you by popping up during the day. Or, you may become aware of negative emotions or body stress as you concurrently notice your Inner Parent suppressing or bashing your Inner Child.
These insights during the early months of Self-Parenting are important signs of your Inner Parent’s progress. They will continue throughout your first year of sessions. It is important to keep in mind that you cannot buy respect from your Inner Child.
Respect from your Inner Child comes automatically when you, as the Inner Parent, are doing the following things.
By faithfully following the 23-Tips guidelines you will be well rewarded. If you, as the Inner Parent, can lovingly respond with, “Thank you, Inner Child, for telling me that.” no matter what your Inner Child says, then you have truly learned how to listen and accept.
Ideally, sometime during the first three months, your Inner Child will finally sense that its feelings or suggestions are now being heard and accepted, not abused or ignored, by you as the Inner Parent.
Your future growth in Self-Parenting involves learning to express your needs positively as the Inner Parent, not simply be a listener. This requires an active role by your Inner Parent and yet, this is a tricky area to master. The difficulty is remaining positive and not slipping back into any negative patterns learned during your upbringing.
To help you in this endeavor, the SELF-PARENTING Program has a series of Intermediate and Advanced Modules. Each module explores a different subject area to further your awareness as an Inner Parent. Further questions on such topics as Self-Esteem and Early Family & Childhood Issues provide a unique service using your half-hour sessions as a base.
Remember, you cannot speed up your growth in Self-Parenting by “doing more faster.” Your Inner Child lives in the “real world.” It wants to see some calendar time go by before it fully believes that you, as the Inner Parent, are going to be consistent with your sessions. It may hope, it may pray, it may even resist kicking and screaming, but when you, as the Inner Parent, have spent 90 half-hour sessions with your Inner Child (45 total hours of one-on-one time), your Inner Child will become a believer. Don't simply trust me, experience this for yourself.
Yours in Positive Self-Parenting,
Dr. John K. Pollard III