This episode is about breaking the cycle of generational patterns. Today’s caller, Cathy, experienced corporal punishment as a child and finds herself doing the same thing to her daughter. As you listen to the call, I hope you are able to separate her character from her behavior. Her behavior is a reaction to her past.

I’ve said many times, parenting does not come with an instruction manual.

Often, we play out behaviors we learned from our parents. It requires a conscious awareness to know what behaviors we want to leave in the past, and which we pass on to our children.

We need to have deep compassion for our parents and then forgive them, to stop repeating generational patterns. Stopping the cycle entails awareness, healing of our past hurts, and then the reparenting of ourselves to become the loving parent we never had.

Abuse continues because the victim never heals. The victim either becomes the abuser or internalizes the abuse. Often, people do not share about past abuse, because there is so much shame. This is not just true for abuse, it is for any generational pattern.

Coaches Tip — When clients share things that are hard to hear, don’t go into judgment or sympathy. If you catch yourself doing so, say, “I forgive myself for judging or feeling sorry for this person,” then shift back into compassion.

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Keep These Distinctions in Mind:

  • Acceptance versus judgment.
  • Compassion versus sympathy.


Cathy’s Question:

Cathy wants to understand how she may have adversely affected her daughter’s self-esteem.


Cathy’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • She feels she made mistakes with her first daughter.
  • She finds herself going back to the parenting tactics of her parents.
  • She didn’t like being a girl growing up.
  • Her daughter is mirroring her.
  • She has unresolved issues from her childhood.
  • Her mother didn’t defend her.


How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • She should talk to her younger self through a photo, and tell herself she did not deserve the punishment she received.
  • She should work with a counselor or a coach who has experience with childhood traumas.
  • Research parenting and discipline tools.
  • When she gets triggered, she should practice giving herself a time out.



  • Get a picture of little you and commit to sending love to the little boy or girl inside of you.
  • If you are aware of your need for healing, get professional to walk you through it.
  • If you find yourself triggered by something, give yourself a time out.
  • Use the scientist technique of Expectation Hangover and become an observer in your life.
  • Consider what patterns you want to pass along to your children, and which ones you want to break the cycle of.
  • Read Family Secrets by John Bradshaw and The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary.



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Where do you need to focus on the right here, right now? Click To Tweet It is important we forgive and have compassion for our parents. Click To Tweet When you find yourself triggered by something, give yourself a time out. Click To Tweet