Is That Negative Self-talk or an Internalized Parental Voice?

Has Your Internalized Parental Voice (IPV) Made a Negative Impact on Your Life?

Self-talk is healthy if it is positive, but what if this inner voice seems to criticize you? Self-talk is fine if it leads to a better version of yourself but what if it gives you the feeling that you’re never really good enough?

What if you want to take a break from “self-improvement” but that negative voice in your head keeps pushing you over and over again?

Question the message

We tend to internalize our parent’s messages. The trick is to separate the wheat from the chaff, which is not as simple. It seems even more difficult if your parents or guardians had a (too) big influence on you, or maybe still have.

At best, you learned truths that have served you well in life. In that case, it wasn’t about how your parents wanted you to be to make themselves look better. It was really more important to them to introduce you, as a new person, to how life works, to show you your best choices and become successful in life.

But unfortunately, parents and educators often make (unconsciously) suggestions to their children to meet requirements that, if they were to be realized, would flatter them or make their own lives easier. Sometimes those suggestions sound more like orders to the ears of the children.

These parents don’t do that intentionally, but because they are dependent on your good behavior, for their own self-esteem.

Meanwhile, if this became your Internalized Parental Voice, you may have a problem. As a child, you accepted these requirements often unquestioningly as the ultimate truth.

After all, you expect your parents to have the best intentions for you. Doesn’t the Bible say to honor your father and mother? How would you ever dare to doubt their good intentions? “It’s for your own good” many of us have heard ad infinitum.

childhood emotional neglect

Internalized Parental Voice

Definition: The often-repeated verbal and nonverbal messages that parents, knowingly or unknowingly, transmit to their children become hardwired in the child’s mind so that it is perceived as an unquestionable truth about and by the child.

Question the Source

We live in a time of ultimate awareness. We have more time and also more need to ask ourselves what’s wrong. How can we make it better? Our parents were much more focused on physical survival . . .  and the financial necessities that came with that.

Finances still play a very important role, but there is a tendency to pay more attention to general, personal well-being and emotional well-being plays an important role.

Dare to stand up, within yourself, against the Internalized Parental Voice. First, you have to learn to identify it so that, next, you can free up your own voice, opinion, and judgments. That is part of growing up – and you can do it at any age!


Find out if you’re supporting your child to develop a healthy sense of self-worth and self-confidence by taking our short quiz for parents or parents-to-be.

quiz for parent


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