Good Parent Messages

From Body, Self and Soul by Jack Rosenberg (available at

From the Journaling Worksheet at One Legacy: “According to Rosenberg, optimally, all of the messages below, both the good mother and good father messages should have been given by both of your parents early in your life. … According to Rosenberg, there is only a brief period of time or “window” in childhood during which each of these messages can be provided by your parents. (The exact length of time for the open window is unknown, but most psychologists and psychiatrists believe the developmental window for mother messages close before puberty, while the window for father messages closes no later than early teens). When that time passes, the window closes. Even if your own parent belatedly recognizes your need and strives to fill it, it is too late. Your basic needs can no longer be completely satisfied from outside yourself. You may find yourself fruitlessly trying to obtain these messages from your partner, children, coworkers, etc.”

Good Mother Messages (earliest childhood messages)

  1. I love you.
  2. I want you.
  3. You are special to me.
  4. I see you and I hear you.
  5. It’s not what you do but who you are that I love.
  6. I love you and I give you permission to be different from me.
  7. I’ll take care of you.
  8. I’ll be there for you; I will be there even when you die.
  9. You don’t have to be alone anymore.
  10. You can trust me.
  11. You can trust your inner voice.
  12. Sometimes I will tell you “no” and that’s because I love you.
  13. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.
  14. My love will make you well.
  15. I welcome and cherish your love.

Good Father Messages (“Out in the world” messages)

  1. I can set limits, and I am willing to-enforce them.
  2. If you fall down, I will pick you up.
  3. I am proud of you.
  4. I have confidence in you, I am sure you will succeed.
  5. I give you permission to be the same as I, to be more or less.
  6. You are beautiful (handsome)
  7. I give you permission to love and  enjoy your erotic sexuality with a partner of your choice and not lose me.

Published by Richard

I am a writer, photographer, and contemplative. My highest value is beauty and excellence. I seek to find and appreciate it, and create it. My second value is truth. I try to clearly and accurately communicate what is real and true. My third value is kindness. I study religion and science to help me understand how to increase kindness in myself and others.

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