The Bully inside a parent's head
Tara was getting frozen out, Tara's mum was beating herself up. Bullying takes all forms and 9 year old Tara was getting called lots of horrible names, being intentionally left out and suffering lots of little digs when there weren't any teachers to see them. She had got more and more upset before finally plucking up courage to tell her mum. That was a first for Sophie because they'd always spoken about niggles before they became issues and the bullying was now anissue. Sophie spoke to Tara's teacher but he said that there wasn't anything he could do until he saw clear evidence.
A little voice inside Sophie's head got louder and louder. It said that she was a bad mother for not being able to stop the bullying. She'd heard that voice before criticising her for all sorts of things, many of them related to her inability to bring up Tara correctly and give her the best possible start in life. Tara's bullies were in the playground, Sophie's bully was in her head.
I explained to Sophie, like I'm explaining to you in this blog post, about the voices in her head. We all have them, but we don't tend to talk about it. You see it's got some kind of historical link to mental illness and so the voice has a stigma. How can we have a stigma about something that we all have? That's like having a stigma for having a nose.
I told her about seeing a post on Facebook telling us to silence the voice in our heads. It had been shared over a thousand times. That's pretty dangerous in my opinion. I learned about the voice 10 years ago from my mentors, tried silencing it and that doesn't work. The only thing I've found that helps is realising it's not the truth. You see the voice in our head is a liar. And liars tell lies. We're not born with that voice in our heads, it's an accumulation of all the negative things we've been told by others. The more time we spend on the planet, the louder the voice gets and the more negative things it has to say. Some of my work involves 'outing' that voice and helping parents learn to ignore it, more of my work involves stopping the negative thoughts going into the children's heads in the first place - so Tara learns to ignore bullies. Want to find out more? Get in touch.