What does reparenting yourself mean?
Reparenting yourself simply means healing your inner child and giving your inner child the love and the guidance and support that you didn’t receive when you were young, in the present.
[Update] Check out my new online course on How to Reparent Yourself.
How Our Childhood Experiences Affect Us
Children don’t just need food, cloth and shelter. As children, we look to our parents for love and support. Also, we need them for guidance on important life skills. For example, we learn from our parents on how to manage emotions, how to treat ourselves, make decisions or to set limits. Our parents are models for unconditional love and what healthy relationships look like.
In reality, many people do not have the perfect childhood. Our parents might have emotionally neglected us, for instance. They were far too busy trying to make a living. Or they were not expressive themselves and failed to acknowledge our feelings. However, as we know now, any absence of emotional connection can impair the healthy growth and development of a child.
When we were young, we might have been disciplined in harsh ways that led us to believe that they did not love us. One client I know was whipped by her dad with a cane whenever she was deemed to be a naughty child. Another client was often told that she would amount to nothing if she failed her exams. A third client would end up with bruises from being punished for her disobedience. These are devastating real-life stories from clients who sought help for healing their past trauma.
It is also possible that we were not guided or taught essential life skills. After all, our parents weren’t taught themselves either. They could have come from broken homes, suffered from abuse or had addiction problems. With no guidance or role models, they weren’t fully equipped nor have the resources to become better parents.
So it is that we weren’t given adequate support, safety and assurance that any child would have wanted. Since they were hardly around for us, we could not develop trust. The result is that we grew up feeling insecure and unhappy.
Where we believe that we are unlovable, we can feel the lack. Many clients reported to feeling numbed but as soon as they were willing to uncover their deeper fears about not feeling loved, they described sensing a gaping hole in the heart. Not surprisingly, experiencing a lack on the inside can drive anyone to look for ways to fill the gap; such as entering into relationships with partners and hoping that they would complete us. We develop insecure attachment styles, thus creating problems in our relationships.
Reparenting Yourself with Love
If we are to grow to be healthy adults, we need to learn important social and emotional skills and have the opportunities to practice them. At the core, what we need is love and we will need to find ways to address the lack. Fortunately, the answer lies in reparenting. In fact, as I call it….
Reparenting is an essential component of a healthy self-love practice.
When we no longer look to others for love and approval, we are likely to be less emotionally triggered and reactive today. Our decisions are driven less by the fear of rejection or abandonment and feeling the lack. Thus, we are more empowered to make wiser choices.
In the past, I had not realised how childhood emotional neglect and not having my feelings acknowledged can create challenges like having low confidence. Fortunately, I found out how it is possible to reparent myself.
It is with reparenting that I grew in acceptance, confidence and compassion. The result is an increased ability to take charge and inspiring others to do the same
Since we can’t change the past of how we were parented, the best that we can do now is to reparent our inner child. When we choose to do so, we are taking responsibility. We release any blame targeted at our parents and instead, direct our attention to healing ourselves. With reparenting, we are connecting with our inner child with assurance, care, and guidance. We give our inner child advice that is much needed.
Check out my latest course on How to Reparent Yourself and Heal Your Inner Child.
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