Parents and children: Where’s the rub?

Cardboard parent and child.
“Danboard Parent Child Strobist” by Louish Pixel | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

We’ve talked about how an infant knows if they are loved or not, and how our early environment leaves a lasting influence on us as adults. So, what is really going on?

During the first six years of life, our natural 5D consciousness is in full flower. It is true awareness with no filters—just pure and free. We have been born with our inner gifts. They are buried inside us, alive and well. In our early years, we hear things, see things, and feel things in a way that our parents no longer do. Then, at about the age of seven, our egos start to coalesce and concretize. This is why the years between birth and seven are of particular importance. So, let’s first take a look at how we viewed the world in our formative years.

How children view world in formative years

When we were young children, we were wide awake in ways our parents cannot fathom. Everything was alive — animals, flowers, dogs, cats, toys, bananas. When my grandson was a small boy, he clung to a toy that belonged to the house where we were visiting. He was not about to give it up. But when the women of the house said, “That toy lives up on the table,” he marched right over and put the toy up where it belonged—all very natural. Another time, when he was older, he fell down and his badly scraped leg was bleeding. He told his Mom, “Look, Mom, the road ate my skin.” We adults no longer see the world this way.

Her mother said, “She gets excited about everything. I wish I was that excited about life.”

When we were children, we were curious and open. We wanted to explore every nook and cranny of life. We chewed on whatever we could put in our mouths, banged on pots, examined electric wall outlets, and tried to open every cupboard in the house. We threw Cheerios on the floor, laughed from our bellies, and played with the dog’s food. We didn’t think of things as right or wrong, or good or bad. We were just open to everything.

When we were children, we were filled with joy and wonder. Ants walking across a sidewalk were simply fascinating. Digging in the sand, or making mud pies, gave us hours of pleasure. I recently waved to a small girl in the park. She got so excited that she shook all over with delight waving her hands. Her mother said, “She gets excited about everything. I wish I was that excited about life.” Another time I watched a tiny boy who was learning to walk. He was at the stage where he just kept moving forward, almost unable to stop his feet. Suddenly, a baby rabbit crossed right in front of him and scampered into the grass. The boy stopped walking and I thought he would chase that baby bunny. But shuffled over to the side of the path, looked at the baby bunny, and murmured, “Aha.” (I did too.)

Now, we know that early childhood experiences stay with us and that these experiences limit us back as adults. So, let’s take a look at how these lasting imprints come about.

Scenarios to visualize

In the following scenarios, visualize yourself from the young child’s perspective and then from the role as adult/parent, realizing that these experiences arise from different places/ages/frequencies.

Child: is crying and crying. It feels all wet and icky. I’m hungry. Where’s Mom? I want Mom. I need help.

Parent: is upstairs vacuuming, unaware.

Childhood imprint: No one is here for me.

Child: is all happy, spinning, turning round and round. Bam, Mom jolts me out of my joyous dance, grabs me by the arm, yells.

Parent: Stop! You’re about to fall down the stairs.

Childhood imprint: The world is not safe.

Child: I’m making cookies all by myself, shake the flour off my hands, eat some raw batter. Yum.

Parent: Yells, no, no, now look at what you’ve done, there’s flour all over the place and you’re going to get sick!”

Childhood imprint: I must do things the way Mom wants or else she will be mad. I need to do things right.

Child: Dad, Dad, look at this. Look what I found! Look what I found!

Parent: Pays no attention, continues to play on cellphone and watch TV.

Childhood imprint: I’m all alone. I’m invisible. I don’t really matter.

Child: Having fun, running trucks up steep ramps, then crashing then into my brick wall.

Parent: Stop that right now; we have to go. We’re late. You do this all the time.

Childhood imprint: I’m not good enough. I need to play small.

Child: Wow, look at the sky, it’s beautiful. The clouds are floating by. This is wondrous.

Parent: What are you doing out here? Did you do your chores?

Childhood imprint: I’m not OK. I’m a bad girl.

Child: Runs into the house, tears in eyes: Mom, Mom, I was doing a somersault on the front lawn, and I saw God! I saw God!

Parent: Don’t cry, honey, I’m right here. Let’s play the hand game, “Here is a church; here is the steeple: Open it up and see all the people.”

Childhood imprint: Big people don’t understand a thing. I’m all alone.

The young child and adult experience life at very different frequencies

Like it or not, these are the kind of impressions we store as children. Our trust gets broken because the big people don’t come. They are not there when we need them. We get in trouble for reasons we don’t understand. Our sense of our self becomes tarnished. The world is not a safe place. Life is frightening. We have to go it alone. We better do things the right way. And just think, we haven’t even talked about living in a family where there is abuse, alcoholism, mental illness and dysfunction.

So, where is the rub? Why do we still carry these messages of old? We do this because life works at very different frequencies for a young child and an adult. We have vastly different ways of experiencing our everyday world. “So, what,” you might say. “Big deal. We all went through this.” But the dilemma is that we are still living our life through the early filters of our childhood. This takes the juice out of us, and makes for a very limited life.

How does this predicament come about?

First we felt wounded as young children. So we came up with strategies to compensate, to help us feel somewhat safe, worthwhile, lovable, etc. In this way we could feel a little less separate, a bit more connected, like we belonged, and people really cared.

Next, our childhood strategies are reinforced. They grow into ingrained patterns, habits, and beliefs. We learn from parents, teachers, and society to go to the outside to get what we want and feel good about ourselves. We incorporate these subconscious messages into our life:

  • Maybe we earn degrees or go to prestigious programs because underneath we don’t think we are very smart.
  • Maybe we try to control everything because we learn that we couldn’t trust the big people, or life.
  • Maybe we always try to please others because then we feel we are of some use, have value.
  • Maybe we go blazing out into the world to prove our worth.
  • Maybe we hide ourselves away, make ourselves small, to try to maintain some control and feel safe.

We all have our various strategies, and they are still functioning in our lives today.

The problem with going to the outside to be fulfilled is that it doesn’t work. It’s temporary and fleeting. We will never achieve the things we wanted as kids—feelings like being safe, worthy, loved, powerful, etc. by going to the outside. Our early adaptive skills no longer work because the source of who and what we are is not to be found on the outside. Our worth is much deeper than that. It resides in our heart, not in our head. It lies inside us. The outer, external, world is never going to give us what we really want—peace, joy, and love.

One way we can learn to go inside is to team up with our inner child, that little one who is always going to be with us. So, next time we will take a look at what we can do to honor and team up with our little child part. We need to work on the inside to reach fulfillment.