The Parent Within

While our inner child – happy kid mode – can take action in a spontaneous and authentic way for fun, a critical, punitive, or demanding voice is heard:

“What have you been able to do so far?” “You are useless.” “You don’t deserve anything.” “Who will do what to you?” “You are not worthy of being loved.” “Don’t be selfish, you have to think of other people first.” “You must always be moral.”

We call this voice our inner voice, but first we need to understand it; Do these sentences sound familiar? Then it is necessary to decompose; Is this critical, punitive and demanding voice our voice or our parent’s voice?


According to the point of view of Gestalt theory; Inclusion takes place by accepting the messages coming from the environment as they are without assimilation and digesting. The child, who accepts everything presented to him from the family and the environment as true, starts to make sense of himself and his relationships with the messages he receives (Daş, 2014). Messages given by parents can be instructive and facilitating messages, but they can also be harmful and disruptive. For example; person “The person who upsets the other person is a bad person.” If he has received a message like this, he will do his best not to upset other people, however, when the person in front of him is offended by the slightest thing, he will be left alone with a feeling of guilt and shame. Due to the imported messages, the person cannot meet his needs, suppresses his wishes, and these needs and wishes remain as unfinished works (Daş, 2014). Perls et al. (1951; cited in Daş, 2014) mentioned that inclusions that prevent the completion of a task reduce one’s life energy and excitement. A person hears that voice in every attempt he makes to realize his own wishes: “The person who upsets the other person is a bad person.” and his freedom is restricted, his spontaneity disappears.

Discord Parent Mods

According to the mode approach of schema therapy; Messages given to the child in the early stages that he is not lovable or smart enough, causing the child to feel pressured and rejected, create maladaptive parental modes. “When the individual puts himself under unreasonable and heavy pressure, does not allow his own needs, finds his own feelings absurd, or devalues ​​himself because of situations that disapprove of those needs and feelings, it is really maladaptive parental modes at stake.”(Jacob et al., 2014).

The demanding parent mode can be related to feelings of failure and guilt. The demanding parent mode, which includes feelings of failure, is about making excessive demands on oneself, and perfectionist parents may be the basis of this mode. Demands for work and school success, appearance and weight can be given as examples. The demanding parent mode, which includes feelings of guilt, is about how the person should feel. People with this mode are people who believe that they should be good people and that they are responsible for other people’s happiness.

Punishing parent mode; It’s about devaluing one’s self. Children who have been punished, mocked or abused in the early period may see the smallest mistakes they make in the later period as unacceptable and may think that they deserve to be punished (Jacob et al., 2014).

Healthy Adult Mode and Happy Child Mode

The healthy adult mode is; It can be defined as the ability to evaluate situations, disagreements and relationships realistically, to regulate emotions, to balance between their own wishes and the wishes of others, to fulfill their duties and responsibilities, to seek constructive solutions to problems, to be interested in curiosity, exploration and entertainment (Jacobs et al., 2014). . The healthy adult doesn’t overlook small negativity because he knows it’s not the end of the world. He can give up and let go when necessary, which is certainly not a submissive attitude. healthy adult; happy, free and at peace with himself.

Happy kid mode; It includes fun, joy, spontaneity, spontaneity, vitality and authenticity (Jacobs et al., 2014). The happy child mode can be briefly described as the child playing. A child who feels loved and approved, who feels joyful, peaceful, safe and alive, is a happy child.

The happy kid mode and the healthy adult mode are similar in many ways, and the person who owns one of these modes usually has a strong presence in the other mode. Muting the punishing and demanding parent modes is possible by strengthening the healthy adult and happy child mode. Healthy adult mode; While it consoles the hurt side of the child, it sets limits on the spoiled side and strengthens the happy, amused, spontaneous side. On the other hand, it negotiates rationally with disorienting parental mods because it can easily be mistaken that they are right because the parental mods have dominated the person for so long. The healthy adult finds evidence that parental modes are unfair and opposes them and substitutes healthier messages for those that are not good for them, rejecting, criticizing, demanding, and punishing (Jacobs et al., 2014).

Let them be sad

Özge Samancı talked about growing in Turkey “Let them Worry” At the end of his autobiographical graphic novel, he talks about the muting of the parent’s voice. When he graduated from college, two of his friends told him that he could become an artist. “I studied mathematics. The streets are filled with millions of talented fine arts graduates. Who should look at my ridiculous drawings?” he replies. His friend, on the other hand, explains that this voice belongs to his father, not him, and that he can turn down his father’s pessimistic voice. It seems unacceptable to Özge to turn down her father’s voice. “No, I can’t shut up. I love my father!” . Turning down the parent’s critical, punitive, and pessimistic voice doesn’t mean we ignore or dislike it. Our relationship with our parents is not all good or all bad, there are aspects that are good as well as aspects that are not good for us. We can turn up the parental voice that supports us, and turn down the voice that criticizes or punishes. The sound that supports us strengthens our healthy adult mood. Sometimes it allows us to act towards our need to make a healthy voice to ourselves, to support ourselves, to be parents to ourselves. When we turn down the critical, punishing and demanding parent voice and start to sound healthy adult, the happy child in us takes action and starts having fun spontaneously and authentically. In this way, we will be free, happy and at peace.

“I was going to do what I loved, even if it didn’t live up to the expectations of the people I loved.

Come on, let’s swim against the current!

Let them grieve.”

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