In previous articles, we’ve covered the abusive parent and the neglectful parent and the impact that follows people well into adulthood. Let’s take a look at a nurturing parent and how it impacts their life. Although a parent may respond differently as a child ages, there is still the tone of care and compassion.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Bystanders heard his mother exclaim, “He fell off the wall!!! My baby egg fell!!” And his mother ran to him and scooped him up. She moved his head to her shoulder and cooed to him. It was as if she said “Let me soothe you. Shhh… I hate that you fell and that you got hurt!” She begins to gently bounce and rock her Humpty. She continues to coo, as if she’s saying “I’m picking up the pieces of you. You are important to me. I’ll take the time. It’s ok that you got all over me and your emotions spilled out.” And she loving looked him in the eye and let him know “I hear you when you cry, I’ll come. When you fall, I’m here to pick you up.”
This Humpty grows up differently than the other two. Because there was a caring response to his pain he believes:
I am valuable. I’m worthwhile.
I am worth getting messy for.
It’s OK for the messy emotions from inside to come out of me. It’s ok if they come out of you too.
I can be soothed. My mother soothed me. Then I learned to soothe myself.
People help me. They pay attention to me. They care. The world is safe.
People who have been validated, nurtured, treated with love and kindness are more comfortable in their own skin. They’ve learned to give kindness to themselves, as well as, those around them. It’s sometimes mistaken for pride when they believe in themselves. Doubts still plague them, but not with the intensity of someone who was raised in an abusive or neglectful home.
One last thought, take a moment to think about how it feels when someone truly believes in you and validates your needs and feelings. What does that feel like? Validation is one of the greatest gifts to give to people. It soothes them in ways we can’t see. It calms their heartbeat. It gives them a sense of being heard, and of being important.
We all love to receive validation too. It settles us. But did you know that it’s a gift you can start giving to yourself? You can say validating things to yourself, even if you didn’t hear it growing up. For example, “everyone makes mistakes,” “that makes sense that I’m angry, what they said really hurt,” and “you’re important, I’m important too.”
Don’t forget, we can love ourselves as we love our neighbor. God values us.
Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Check out other blog posts in this series: