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PREVIEW: The Benefits of a Psychologically Healthy Parent by Carista Luminare

It need not be said that preparing for parenthood is a major life initiation. It is a personal and provocative journey and involves much soul-searching. When embracing a holistic health perspective to preconception health care, your psychological wellness is as important as that of your body and spirit. Standing on the threshold of parenthood, now is a powerful opportunity to explore the unresolved psychological themes of your own childhood, as well as a precious time to contemplate the future emotional and mental concerns of becoming a mom or dad.

This is an invaluable time to explore your sense of yourself as a person, a partner, and a potential parent. It is important that both partners evaluate their psychological preparedness and the identity challenges of becoming a parent. All children greatly benefit when both parents respond to them as mature adults, rather than having to negotiate a psychological or emotional maze of one parent’s inappropriate behavior.

To optimize your future child’s whole health, it’s important you consider the soundness of your own self-esteem and self-expression. In addition to consistently wholesome dietary habits, you should have equal regard for the psychological nutrients you expose your child to as soon as she is conceived, and throughout her life.

Revisiting the Past

Your own personal history and that oF your partner will color and shape your child’s ability to develop a positive sense of self. For your child to achieve understanding of such issues as dependency, individuality, right use of will, self-love, and self-care your guidance will be required.

Unless you develop the habit of acting consciously and with clarity, you may at times react to your child out of your own childhood wounds, embodying dysfunctional behavior that your parents may have expressed to you. When you respond to your child consciously, you are passing along behavior that is healthy and empowering.

Some confusion is natural. For example, the first time you consider disciplining your child, you may wonder whether you are controlling your child or your child is controlling you. The more you explore your own emotional temperament, as well as your and your partner’s ethical beliefs, the less unhealthy psychological tendencies will be part of your relationship with your child.

Raising your child will constantly force you to revisit and re-evaluate your own childhood. I am moved to share an experience that happened to me:


 

Oh, rats!  It’s so frustrating when you get cut off just as you were getting really interested.

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