As children, we walk around in the world like little sponges — taking everything in. We learn things like what safety feels like and how to communicate.
If we don’t feel protected, accepted for who we truly are, or not taught how to set proper boundaries, we develop coping mechanisms to help keep ourselves safe.
And we maintain this way of living until we eventually realize that this method is no longer serving us. Because those methods usually keep us stuck, in states of self-sabotage, and in constant protector mode.
But when we allow ourselves to revisit the original source of trauma in a safe and supported space — to reparent ourselves to give ourselves now what we needed then — we can allow ourselves to truly heal.
Growing up, we depend on our parents to provide us with what we need to feel happy, healthy, and safe. We rely on them to teach us the skills that will help us develop healthy relationships and feel good about ourselves.
Sometimes though, our parents can’t teach us these things because no one taught them how to do it or they are simply emotionally unavailable for the task. As a result, we might end up lacking the fundamental skills that we need to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adults
Reparenting is working to reconnect to your inner child and meet the needs that went unmet as you were growing up. This may include the need for affection, security, routines, and structure, setting boundaries, cultivating self-love, and identifying, expressing, and managing your emotions.
It IS possible to teach yourself these skills and give yourself what your parents weren’t equipped to. It’s an opportunity to be the loving, supportive, and compassionate parent our inner child needed so that we can heal from those unmet needs. And to allow ourselves to reconnect with and cherish the joyful, wonder-filled child-like version of ourselves in order to live this life to the fullest!
Our inner child is the part of us that is shaped by the experiences we had growing up. As children, we’re impressionable and vulnerable. When we experience trauma as a child — big or small — our little systems experience it as a threat to our well-being. Even if you haven’t experienced trauma, there may have been negative experiences or things that were said that have stuck with you. As a way to protect yourself, you might have buried that pain or experience deep inside your unconscious mind.
Unless healed, these traumas live on in your daily lives as adults. Sometimes without even knowing. Reparenting helps you become aware of your wounds and how they affected you as a child so you can work to repair those hurts. When you reparent that smaller version of yourself, huge changes occur deep within. We begin to live life from a place of trust and joy. We’re no longer acting out of a place of hurt that had previously remained unhealed.
By working with your inner child, you can isolate, heal, and integrate an essential part of yourself by providing all the love, respect, and dignity you deserved when you were young.
It’s important to remember that your parents probably did the best they could with what they had. It’s not your fault either. But it IS your responsibility to do the work today to heal.
And I’m here to support you along the way.
A lot of what we learn about emotions, boundaries, resiliency, and communication is influenced by our families. In the reparenting process, we can learn how to communicate our emotions, set firm and healthy boundaries to keep us safe, create healthy relationships, cultivate self-love, and so much more.
The goal is to unlearn harmful and unhealthy ways of being and learn new, healthier thoughts and behaviors. The benefits of this can include:
Are there things you didn’t learn in your childhood? Were there any emotional needs of yours that were unmet?
With these exercises, you can begin to explore the unmet needs you had as a child and learn how to meet them yourself through reparenting.
“Dear Parent” Letter
Write a letter to anyone in your life who has made an impact on you growing up and still impacts your inner child. This could be your mother, father, or any other significant figure in your life. I personally recall my 7th-grade English teacher projecting my future failure because writing wasn’t my strongest subject. If someone made you feel hurt, ignored, or unloved as a child, share how this made you feel. Here, you’re free to release your emotions without anything holding you back. You don’t have to rationalize your feelings. Let it all out — this is for your eyes only.
Come back to these exercises any time you feel like your inner child needs a little extra understanding, love, and support.
Reparenting is a wonderful way to learn how to process your emotions, set strong boundaries with yourself and others, create self-love, respect yourself and others, cultivate healthy relationships, and strengthen communication skills.
It’s a chance to give yourself everything you craved but didn’t get as a child. As your own parent, you can nurture yourself to feel stable, protected, happy, confident, and cared for.
By reparenting yourself you’ll find someone who will stick with you through whatever life may throw your way.
I know this to be true because I’ve done this work myself. Growing up in a home with a parent that struggled with addiction was extremely painful and difficult. I didn’t receive the love, affection, affirmation, and acceptance that I so deeply desired. My Dad was simply unable to provide me with what he himself didn’t possess. Through reparenting work and healing I’ve been able to acknowledge, recognize and heal these wounds of my inner child and provide to myself what I sought out so many years ago. It has been one of the most influential aspects of my life thus far.
And… this is the work that I am feeling so strongly called to bring into the world because I have been there and I know the power of this healing.
It is so clear that my work is to help you access the healing that lies within YOU, to reconnect with and nurture your inner child and then connect with the joy that you are inherently worthy of in this life. To help you navigate the roadblocks that may come up while doing this important and necessary work.
I see you.
I hear you.
If you’d like some support on your own reparenting journey, I’d love to be that person for you. If you’re called, book a complimentary clarity call with me here.