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Some serve you well, others don't
The Parent THE PARENT - The Parent ego state is the part of us which records and stores our perceptions of the events we experience, but not the feelings associated with these events. It records and stores all our basic lesson of life, all our rules of living, all our dos and don'ts, all our shoulds and should nots, and all our how-tos and how-not-tos. Many, but not all, of the messages stored in our Parent come directly from our mothers and fathers (or other significant grownups in our early childhood), and are recorded very early in life. Some are useful, and provide us with instantaneous responses for dealing with dangerous situations, like reminding us to step out of the paths of oncoming vehicles. Some offer appropriate ways for dealing with the important issues in life, like raising our children and developing long-lasting friendships.

Others are less helpful. These include various beliefs and assumptions that we once recorded as "truth" (possibly because our mothers and fathers believed them to be "true"), but that were nevertheless based on inaccurate, or incomplete, information, or on concepts that changed over the years, as we grew older. Typically, we have no recollection of the circumstances under which we recorded these messages, but we still operate from them. Often, we use them in destructive ways that prevent us from developing satisfying relationships with people, and from producing the positive results we would like to see in our personal and business lives.

Typically, our Parent acts like a real-life mother or father. It can be both stern and nurturing. Our stern Parent is inclined to judge people, to punish people, to criticize people, to give commands, to try to control people, and to try to prove that we are right and that other people are wrong. Our stern Parent is inclined, also, to try to judge, punish, criticize, and control ourselves. On the other hand, our nurturing Parent nurtures and takes care of other people, and also nurtures and takes care of ourselves. Both our stern Parent and our nurturing Parent protect and defend us, but when our stern Parent does so it tends to get into arguments and to attack other people, often in total disregard for the consequences of its actions.

A third part of our Parent, called our skills Parent, doesn't have much of a personality, but houses all the automatic skills that we develop - our ability to play golf, tennis, and other sports, our ability to play musical instruments, as well as our ability to speak and to write without giving much thought to the words that we choose.

Most importantly, our Parent's responses to situations and people are very rapid. They are, in fact, automatic, instantaneous, forceful, and unthinking. At times, they can get us into big trouble.