Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Sticks and Stones of Parent-Child Self-Help

By Paula Renaye

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

We learned that sing-song saying when we were young—and it is good advice—but is it really true?

I've written a lot of words about how the opinions of others are none of our business and the only approval we need is from ourselves. It's certainly true, and knowing and being at peace with our authentic selves is the foundation of The Hardline Self Help Handbook. But what if the criticism comes from those closest to us, such as a parent? How do we deal with that?

Well, with parents and children, the same old patterns and unhappy scripts have been playing for a long time with the same people saying the same kinds of hurtful things, right on cue. So, how do we change it?

Well, it's pretty simple—someone has to stop doing what they’ve always done. And the first step is to own your starring role in the bad movie. You have to accept that you've chosen—repeatedly—to be around people and participate in situations that have a history of causing you pain.

I can hear you now, "Are you saying it's my fault that my mother criticizes me and makes me feel horrible?" In a word, yes. It is your fault that your mother still criticizes you and you still let it affect you.

If every time you're around your mother she says things that make you feel bad about yourself—and you choose to continue to do the same things—then yes, you are willingly choosing to be criticized.

"Well," you say, "she's my mother and I have to—"
No, you don't. You could grow a spine and respectfully tell her she's not allowed to talk to you in that manner anymore and that you're only going to speak about positive and uplifting topics with her. Or, you can choose not to be around her.

You have to set the terms of what you'll tolerate and stick to them. If she doesn't like your new terms of endearment because she can't play her "here's why you're awful" tape, then she won't want you around anyway.

Harsh? Not really, more like realistic. There is a third option, however, and it has some pretty impressive benefits: You have to no longer need her approval—you no longer need anything from her.

Because really, the only reason any criticism from any source hurts is because there is a part of you that believes it's true. Once you are truly okay with yourself—once you've owned your warts and are doing your best to be your best—it no longer matters what someone else says.

So, if being criticized by a parent still hurts, you have to ask yourself why. Here are a few of questions that may help give you some insights:

What is the one thing you most want your mother or father to say to you that they never have?
What wrongs do you need them to admit to?
What words of approval do you long to hear?

Now, after you've answered those questions, go back and ask "why" for each to get to an even deeper level of self-understanding.

Yes, words can be very powerful. They don't hit us like sticks or rocks, but they can hurt even worse if they connect with old wounds that need to be healed. So, yes, the sing-song rhyme is true—but only if you've done the inner work to make it so.

Back to Mom, when you no longer need her approval, when you can smile at her criticisms, hug her and tell her you love her anyway no matter what she thinks, that's when you'll know you're over it. Because then, you'll have realized that her criticisms have nothing at all to do with you and neither does her withholding of anything—her behaviors are about her fears and limiting beliefs.

And once you've made that shift in your head, you can't look at her in the same way ever again because you no longer need anything from her—you don't need her approval because you have your own. She's no longer withholding something that seemed vital to your life because you have everything you need within.

Who knows, once you've changed the rules of the game, it might even inspire her to make some positive changes as well. It doesn't matter, though, what she does is up to her, and what you do is up to you.

So, yes, sticks and stones can break bones, and words can hurt, but only if you let them. And the great news is that you don't have to let them!

Paula Renaye is a life transformation speaker, coach, regression hypnosis practitioner and author of the multi-award-winning The Hardline Self Help Handbook. Paula holds a degree in Financial Planning and membership in the International Association of Coaches. Special offers and contest giveaways at


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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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