Reparenting Yourself As An Adult: How to heal your inner child

By Wild Ginger

Reparenting Yourself As An Adult: How to heal your inner child

August 17th, 2021 at 6:22 am

When you think of your inner child, you may think of the part of yourself that still enjoys sugary cereals and cartoons on the weekends, but it also embodies other aspects of the child you once were. We all have unresolved emotional experiences that we carry into adulthood from feeling unloved or unsafe to not being able to express our authentic selves as a child. It manifests in our adult lives because most of us were not taught how to process these experiences.

 

As children, we learned how to behave in order to receive love and attention from our caregivers. They may not have separated our emotions from our behaviour, teaching us that unquestionable obedience was ‘good behavior’ and expressing our feelings was ‘bad’ behaviour. Instead of learning how to deal with negative emotions, we were taught to suppress them, as well as other parts of ourselves, to make our parents happy.

 

Wounded Inner Child

These unprocessed feelings grow into a wounded inner child that lives on in our unconscious. It can be seen in the way we carry ourselves and the relationships we have as adults. Here are some signs that your inner child needs healing:

  • You find it hard to say “no” and set healthy boundaries.
  • You seek external validation and lose yourself in an attempt to gain approval from others.
  • You deny or dismiss your feelings and emotions.
  • You are unable to control your feelings because your emotions overwhelm you.
  • You look for partners who can ‘fix’ or ‘save’ you.
  • You micromanage your partner.

 

Reparenting Yourself

A wounded inner child needs to be nurtured with healthy self-help techniques. By reparenting yourself, you’ll be able to provide yourself with the needs you required as a child. This could mean allowing yourself to show up as your true self, celebrating your accomplishments, or helping yourself feel safe. You can reparent yourself by:

  • Acknowledging your pain.
  • Practicing kind self-talk.
  • Showing yourself compassion when you make a mistake.
  • Repeating positive affirmations to yourself regularly.
  • Journaling.
  • Allowing yourself time to play and rest.
  • Keeping one small promise to yourself everyday.
  • Speaking your truth.

 

If we don’t reparent ourselves, we may form unhealthy relationships and attachments in an attempt to meet these needs. This can cause more harm as our happiness and well-being becomes dependent on someone or something else. Only we can heal these wounds and satisfy our own needs. Try these self-care ideas from The Mind Faculty to get started on your reparenting journey:

  • Affirmations

 

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  • Journal Prompts

 

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  • Play

 

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