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The Big Answer


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12 Steps to Self-Parenting for Adult Children

a book by Patricia O'Gorman and Philip Oliver-Diaz

(our site's book review)

This self-help book for the adult children of alcoholics examines the co-dependent as someone who needs a second chance at parenting the inner child within him/her, since the childhood of such a person contained little parenting of value. Of course, it doesn’t take having an alcoholic parent to need to overcome the effects of an early negative environment. Most of us need to do some of this, and many of us need to do a lot of this, in order to live full lives not run by and at effect of the negative tapes programmed into us as kids. This is simply a (sad) fact of life.

Most of us need to get over our pasts, in order to live full lives not run by and at effect of the negative tapes programmed into us as kids
Most of us need to get over our pasts, in order to live full lives not run by and at effect of the negative tapes programmed into us as kids

The authors, like the original founders of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, find it helpful to bring God into the picture as a necessary part of the healing formula. Many people are, of course, hesitant about others tinkering with their spiritual life, as they consider it a private, personal matter, so for those people who want the help without the supernatural aspects thrown in, we can recommend the books of Wayne Dyer, Shad Helmstetter, John Bradshaw and John Pollard. The latter’s Self-Parenting book is a very effective guide for such a venture, if one is truly serious about filling the needs of one’s inner child so one’s life can be about expressing what one is and nurturing oneself rather than symptomizing one’s early programming and continuing to denigrate oneself because of the past.

True spirituality can never be the product of conformity and respect for/fear of authority—if it isn’t a product of finding oneself, it isn’t real
True spirituality can never be the product of conformity and respect for/fear of authority—if it isn’t a product of finding oneself, it isn’t real

Books such as 12 Steps to Self-Parenting are designed to help you leave behind the baggage and pain, the compulsive sex and overeating and spending (to buy things to fill an inner emptiness), the workaholic lifestyle without real intimacy or joy, and the lack of playfulness. Patterns in which you wreck relationships by dropping into programmed, destructive, dysfunctional habits of behavior are replaced by self-nurturing patterns that raise self-esteem and self-control levels. Can such books really do such things for you? No, but the people using them for guidance can, if they have a deep and abiding desire to truly grow, mature, evolve, and leave the hollow feelings, emotional pain, and dysfunctionality behind. It’s about lifewish. Did your past so bury this under numbness and pain that you can no longer find it? If so, therapy is indicated. If not, and your life feels lifeless but your desires for a life that truly works are strong and hearty, there are many things that can help, as indicated above.

If your life feels lifeless but your desires for a life that truly works are strong and hearty, there are many things that can help—all over this website
If your life feels lifeless but your desires for a life that truly works are strong and hearty, there are many things that can help—all over this website

Using Hart’s Winning Family Lifeskills, Gordon’s P.E.T. parenting and/or relationship skills, and the Tofflers’ Third Wave context and Capra’s new ecological-holistic paradigm to guide you in your life choices are things that will enhance life quality no matter whether your life seems hopeless, messed up but hopeful, or already working “okay”. If you’re one of the fortunate few who already has your act together (compared to others around you, but not necessarily compared to your innate self-actualization potential), then not only will you still benefit greatly from enhancing communication, parenting, and relationship habits, but you will find that you will be able to help those around you—starting with those you love—to get their acts together with the aid of resources mentioned above. (And MCs, of course, are the ultimate resource-multiplier lifestyle, since they’re based on knowledge, the most effective resource multiplier.)

“Most of us spend our lives trying to avoid feeling the pain of childhood,” say the authors. They also point out that: “True health is judged not just by how we live our personal lives, but how we contribute to the world we live in. It is not enough to work to find personal fulfillment and ignore the greater community of mankind.” Of course, if one really gets one’s act together, this compassion and oneness with mankind is a natural part of the process—it needs no prompting since it is part of one’s very being. (This is an underlying truth in the MC movement. See Why Register for an MC?.)

Registering for MC search and match
Registering for MC search and match

See The Real Thirteenth Step, about the large and difficult transition from Anonymous group dependency to autonomy, and see Parenting From the Inside Out, about all parents' need to look inside themselves, learn to understand and accept their pasts, and thereby avoid laying their past baggage on their kids, and see Self-Parenting a very effective guide for self-parenting.

True health is judged not just by how we live our personal lives, but how we contribute to the world
True health is judged not just by how we live our personal lives, but how we contribute to the world