The 23-Tips of Self-Parenting
The purpose of the 23-Tips of the SELF-PARENTING Program is to make sure that you, as the Inner Parent, learn the “mildly strict” procedures of the Self-Parenting sessions. Once these initial guidelines have become a habit, they will not seem strict at all, but what they are — a set of positive protocols that enable you to easily and naturally differentiate your Inner Parent and Inner Child within your sessions. The “23-Tips” are why the SELF-Parenting Program is so amazing.
Time and time again I find that when your sessions “aren’t going right” it is because you, as the IP, are violating one or more of the 23-Tips. They are here for your Inner Child’s protection and safety. If you don’t follow them as an Inner Parent, your IC will know long before you do. In fact, your IC is paying way more attention to how well you are following these tips than you might realize. To print a copy for your session book click a1-The-23-Tips-2-sheet or for larger type, a2-The-23-Tips-4-sheet.
So follow them; they absolutely represent “best practice” and they are the basis for all Intermediate and Advanced S/P work. Good habits established early will pay big dividends for your future as a Self-Parenting Practitioner. Here they are:
- Do your sessions in the morning right after you wake up. Anything later will dilute the value of your sessions. If this is difficult for you, know that EVERYONE who has made the switch to morning sessions (against all resistance and every IP excuse under the sun) has benefited immensely. Practicing sessions before you go to bed is not recommended because the positive energy you create will be dissipated by sleeping. If you are a night worker, then simply do your session immediately after you wake up to start your new day/night. Do not have your phone on or any other distractions during this time which is exclusively for your Inner Child.
- Record your sessions on notebook 8.5 x 11 ruled (or A4) letter paper. Keep your sessions in a special binder used only for that purpose. You will need the binder later to keep your modules. I also strongly suggest you “three-hole punch” any materials such as your modules to keep them in your folder as well. For tracking your SPP sessions, Steno pads, writing paper, etc., are NOT acceptable (unless in an emergency). I also now recommend the correct sized single notebooks (college ruled), kept only for this purpose. (as opposed to loose leaf sheets.)
- Draw a line down the center of the paper. Put the Day (Wed), Date (Oct 3, 2012), Time (6:32am), and Session Number (# 34) at the top of the page. Use the left side of the page for the Inner Parent questions and the right side for your Inner Child responses.
- Always begin your session with “The Opening.” (page 183) This must be spoken OUT LOUD by your Inner Parent.
- Ask each question OUT LOUD. As you SPEAK the question, you must also WRITE OUT the full question AT THE SAME TIME. Slow down your speaking of the question until you are writing and speaking the words at the same time. Slowing down your speech to match your writing speed takes some practice but is worth it as this technique concentrates and clears your IP mind for the response of your Inner Child. Write each question (and IC answer) clearly so another person is able to read them.
- DROP DOWN to the next line on your paper to start writing down the response of your Inner Child on the right-hand side of the page. Don’t skip a line, just drop down one line on the right.
- Record whatever your Inner Child says EXACTLY AS IT SAYS IT – whether it’s a one-word answer, a question, a long complaint about doing the session, or a scathing attack on you as the Inner Parent. Whatever your Inner Child says, write it down exactly. If your IC is silent, then write (silent).
- After you have finished writing down EXACTLY what your Inner Child says, drop down to the next line in the left column to begin your response as the Inner Parent. This makes your sessions easy to read and analyze. See pages 98-99 in the book for examples.
- Always respond to your Inner Child after it finishes speaking by saying OUT LOUD, “Thank you, Inner Child, for telling me that, (TYICFTMT)” no matter what your Inner Child says. This is crucial. You do not have to write these words each time. A good way to note that you have responded to your Inner Child in this way is to write the letters TY and circle them while you are saying the words out loud. Therefore, each new Inner Parent question on the left should always start with a circled TY.
- Resist ALL temptations to respond directly, as an Inner Parent, to anything your Inner Child says during your session. This especially includes trying to answer questions your Inner Child might ask during the session or trying to soothe it because of an emotional answer it has given you. Some people think this is nurturing your Inner Child but it actually has the opposite effect. Always respond only with, “Thank you, Inner Child, for telling me that,” even if your Inner Child asks a question. Your goal here is to be a listener and recorder only.
- Despite the above tip, you will often “hear” yourself automatically responding (as the Inner Parent) to your Inner Child’s answer. When you notice you are doing this, stop, apologize OUT LOUD as per page 188 of the book and go back to asking the session questions. Do not worry when you do this, as it is quite common; just be sure to apologize each time. Some practitioners have reported apologizing ten or twenty times during a single session. For its part, your Inner Child will be impressed that you apologized and that you are finally becoming aware of your automatic responses to its side of the seesaw.
- Like the above tip, you may also find yourself simply daydreaming or “spacing out” as the IP during your session. When you catch yourself doing this, again apologize OUT LOUD in a similar manner as previously described except substitute the term “daydreaming.” This is also experienced normally by many practitioners during the early months of Self-Parenting. This typically happens when your sessions aren’t brand new anymore, in which case a weak IP often becomes easily distracted. If this is an issue for your Inner Parent it must be addressed and corrected.
- Each session should last the full thirty minutes — no shorter, no longer. If you run out of time before the questions are finished, just stop for that day and begin the next day with the next question. If you finish all the questions early, continue the sessions until the time is up by asking, “Inner Child, is there anything else you would like to talk about?” When it responds (after you say TYICFTMT) ask, “Inner Child, is there any more about that?” Whatever it says, write it down and keep responding, “Thank you, Inner Child, for telling me that.” Continue to repeat this same process until your thirty minutes are up. Don’t worry, your Inner Child will have answers for you.
- This is a very important principle of the SELF-PARENTING Program. Finishing or quitting early is not a good idea even if it is the Inner Child’s suggestion. Spending a full 30 minutes of precious IP time is what communicates to your Inner Child that you care. Your Inner Child may even test you by saying it wants to skip a session or quit early. If you stop the sessions early, you are communicating that someone or something else is more important to you than your Inner Child. If you extend your session past thirty minutes even at your Inner Child’s suggestion, this is also a mistake.
- After thirty minutes are up, read “The Closing” OUT LOUD (page 192). This officially ends your session.
- Very IMPORTANT: This next tip is to prevent certain people from getting into big trouble. Once you have finished your session, don’t try to speak or dialogue with your Inner Child during the day about ANY topics that came up during your session. Let the effect of your session integrate into your life no matter what happens. Trying to “work with” your Inner Child during the day about “issues” at any time during your first three months of Self-Parenting always creates additional problems. Typically, this “issue” is something that bothers the Inner Parent. Don’t rehash anything said or communicated within your sessions outside your sessions with your Inner Child. This stops your IP from re-stimulating the problem which only makes it worse.
- A definable Inner Conflict is a different circumstance then described in Tip 16. If you experience an Inner Conflict during the day, a definite conflict of needs, you must work it out as soon as possible. In this situation follow the guidelines in Chapter Seven, preferably with the book open in front of you. After resolving fifteen to twenty Inner Conflicts you will have experienced the process enough times and have the steps down pat. You may wait until your next half-hour session but it is always best to resolve a true Inner Conflict as soon as you become aware of it. My second book (the “blue book”), The Self-Parenting Program, also has valuable information on what we call “Inner Bashings” versus resolving “Inner Conflicts.” If you cannot define the conflict of needs then you are probably having an “Inner Bashing.” Spending a lot of time to learn this is however NOT a waste of effort; learning about these can be very valuable to your growth as an IP.
- It is very helpful to meet with a support group or a therapist (one who is personally practicing the SELF-PARENTING Program) during your early days. A support group can give you a place to share your experiences with others. A therapist can help you clarify difficult issues you may encounter due to your upbringing. Self-Parenting is very simple, yet powerful. If the effects of your sessions aren’t mostly positive, then you are doing something incorrectly or you may need additional help.
- Reread the “yellow book” occasionally. It contains a wealth of words within its pages that will enrich your Inner Parent each time you read it. Also, don’t loan your book, you will lose it and your IC will be upset. Have each person order their own so they have their own copy.
- Further your development with ongoing modules. They are specifically designed to deepen your experience practicing the SELF-Parenting Program. There is a suggested order which will guide you gently to the Intermediate and Advanced levels of Self-Parenting. Read and study the Ten Steps to Intermediate Practice article to guide you gently to the Intermediate Status of S/P.
- Attend or organize a support group in your area. This is a guaranteed way to improve and develop your SELF-Parenting style. When people ask you why things are going so well for you, share this website and have them order a yellow book through Amazon. Everyone who begins to share S/P in this way learns even deeper how valuable this process is.
- I do not recommend writing out sessions with the opposite hand because this adds counterproductive complexity to the SELF-Parenting process. (This could have value in other situations, such as seminars or “inner child” work.) Nor do I recommend doing sessions with a tape recorder or on the computer because it interferes with the flow of your session. When you do the sessions as described, written out properly, they can be evaluated and verified properly by a third-party. Plus, this is essential for becoming more aware of “who is who” in your Inner Conversations.
- To continue daily sessions you must learn to make up your own questions. The reason I put only two weeks of questions into the book was to encourage you to begin asking your own questions while the newness of the process was still strong. You may ASK your Inner Child any question on any subject. Keep your questions simple, based upon your life experience. But remember, after you ask any question, your only response should be, “Thank you, Inner Child, for telling me that.” Be current with your modules and follow the Dialogue Template article on the website if you are having problems coming up with your own session questions.
After the first two weeks, if you are still unsure about starting to ask your own questions you may repeat the questions from the “yellow book” SELF-Parenting: The Complete Guide To Your Inner Conversations, over again. If you do this, it is totally normal to get different answers to the same questions. You can also repeat sections of any module and you will get different answers to the same questions. However, don’t repeat the book questions more than twice. If you are having problems with questions, get the P/Q or S/E module. That’s why they were written.
When you follow these 23-Tips, you will be well-rewarded for being an excellent Inner Parent by having a happy and motivated Inner Child. My most precious goal for this work is for you to become an outstanding Inner Parent, so your Inner Child can finally become free to be who and what it’s always been – AWESOME!
If you have ANY questions about these tips or how they are to be applied, you are welcome to email me directly.
dr_john_pollard at selfparenting.com