Making Lemonade--Parents in Recovery
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Parents in Recovery
    --by By Eileen Paris Ph.D. and Tom Paris Ph.D

In spite of the best intentions, parents tend to repeat the very injuries they vow they will never pass on.

This is true also when people are involved in their own recovery. Even as healing takes place, parents don't automatically have new parenting skills to prevent handing down a legacy of emotional injuries to their children. We have developed a holistic system called The Parenting Process that teaches parents how to raise emotionally healthy children while at the same time healing their own inner wounds. First, The Parenting Process has tools to help parents identify their own emotional patterns, those they received in their family of origin. For adults in recovery, in addition to changing behavior these patterns are the ones they are trying to heal. The difficulty is that children reactivate their parents' childhood injuries.

The Parenting Process refers to these injured feelings as "tender spots" and we know that without intervention these "tender spots" can become a family legacy handed down in succeeding generations. When kids trigger our tender spots, parents react as if the children were their parents -- an emotional reversal occurs. In this state of emotional arousal parents lose their perspective.

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