Breaking the Mode with Brittany Johnson, LMHC

Breaking the Mode with Brittany Johnson, LMHC


In last weeks Wait Santa Isn’t real? I talked about learning that our parents were not always what we thought. Again like last week this is not downplaying or discrediting traumatic experiences. This week is sort of part two of that post. This week I want to talk about what to do when you are grown and begin to question some of the rules that were implemented in your childhood.


(You can find the original post here: Breaking the Mode)


We all know that babies aren’t born with a manual. Sure there are countless books and training’s on child-rearing or raising children as most of us call it. Even with these books parenting is really about these main concepts; trial and error, past experiences(how they were parented), and the parent’s mental health status. A lot of parents try things and if they don’t work right away they go to something else. I remember working with a family that tried timeout and their child could adapt quickly to being in timeout so they had to use time in. Some parents try hard to parent the opposite of how they were parented. Once I met a mom who didn’t want any house rules because she felt her parents had too many rules. She learned quickly that it was important to have a few rules to maintain safety and structure. There are some parents who are extremely hard on their children as they feel it builds character. Often after a short conversation, it becomes clear that the parent was raised with the message that you must work hard and that encouragement is not needed.

So what should you do if you find yourself questioning how you were raised?

When thinking about setting rules or if rules should be changed I have found that its best to start with the understanding of why you need rules. Is it a safety concern, educational concern or overall how they will interact with others. When you start with rules for those areas I have found that many people don’t need additional rules outside of that. Some do and that is perfectly OK because everyone is different and some of us need more rules than others. It’s also important to think about how your rule will impact your relationships. If your rule means that other people have to do things differently to be around you then you may want to consider that rule.

  1. Take inventory of the rules of your life and especially the rules that came from your parents.
  2. For each rule ask yourself “Is this rule helpful to my adult life? Does it help me reach my goals in relationships, work, and overall well being?”
  3. For the rules that no longer work set a goal to begin changing how you use them.
  4. Practice using your new rule or change for 21 days.

As always if something in this post resonated with you and you need or want to discuss further please feel free to contact me.


(You can find the original post here: Breaking the Mode)


If you want to learn more about Self Sabotage you can grab my book Get Out of Your Own Way, 21 Days to Stop Self Sabotage you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram @brittanyajohnsonlmhc


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