What is Reparenting and How to Begin?
I am a parent, who is reparenting myself. I started my reparenting journey before my first child and have continued this healing into parenthood. And now, I’m here to share the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I hope you can take this insight and carry it forward into your healing journey as well – no matter where you are along the way.
Over on The Root and Rise Podcast, I talk a lot about my experience with childhood traumas, neglect, and parenting myself. You can listen to this episode below!
My Experience with Reparenting Myself
To learn a little bit more about me and how I can relate to this topic, here’s a quick backstory. You can hear more about it in my episode or article on The Mother Wound. I am a motherless daughter. And a motherless mother. My mother neglected me and my emotional needs as a child. And then just completely abandoned me. I spent over a decade attempting to have a relationship with her after she left- to mean something to her.
She eventually passed away when I was pregnant with my first baby in 2020. I never had any closure, answers, or understanding. If anything, I was only brought more pain upon discovering she had signed official court documents stating we were “estranged” an entire decade before her death.
Inner Child Wounds
Not having the proper care, attention, or love that we need as children can impact who we are. And how we show up in relationships or as parents when we grow up. We are left with unmet needs, a lack of self-esteem, or even possibly very real traumas to overcome. And because we were not shown by our caretakers the love and attention that we deserved, we might not know how to give that to ourselves – let alone to others.
Being a parent with generational trauma handed down to you is incredibly challenging, though I try to view it as a gift. This is only possible on my best days, but definitely not all days. Our children can be our greatest teachers, bringing up the areas of our lives that need attention and healing. While we can absolutely grow from these new pieces of awareness, it’s not always comfortable or fun to work through. Especially while trying to meet your child’s needs at the same time.
Healing your Inner Child
I talked about reparenting ourselves in my recent episode on The Mother Wound. But I felt like this topic needed its own episode because not everyone has a mother wound but a lot of us still need to learn how to reparent ourselves. If that’s you, be sure to check out my free Inner Child Journal Prompts after you read this.
And if you love what you gain from this article, just wait. I have an upcoming episode with Cynthia Ngoy, who has quickly become a friend of mine. Cynthia shares another impactful exercise for healing our inner child that I know you will benefit from. Be sure to subscribe to my podcast so you don’t miss out on that episode!
Learning to Reparent Yourself
Back to today’s topic… We are going to talk about what reparenting yourself is, what it looks like, and how to identify the areas that need your attention. These areas are often referred to as your inner child – which we will dive deep into understanding. I share the top lessons I have learned through years of therapy and reparenting myself. And what it looks like to reparent yourself while parenting your children.
The goal of today’s article is to guide you toward generational healing. And remember, the healing journey is never linear. There will be ups and downs, peaks and valleys. What we do in those good moments and bad moments can keep us moving forward. Or they can set us back. I’m here to help you keep moving forward. So let’s dive right into it.
What is Reparenting Therapy
We have to first understand what I mean when I use the terms “inner child” and “reparenting”.
What is your inner child?
Everyone has an inner child. It’s every experience you have had in life – positive or negative. Though, when we are talking about reparenting an inner child, it’s often speaking to those negative experiences in our life.
And just because we are calling it a “child” does not mean we are limited to your experiences between a certain age range. It’s also your experiences you’ve faced as a teenager, young adult, or in any previous years of your life. It’s any area of your life where your needs were not met, where you were hurt, or even endured trauma.
What does it mean to reparent yourself?
Reparenting yourself is referring to how you acknowledge, validate, care for, and heal those wounded inner child experiences. It’s how you choose to nurture, or parent, those wounds. I will share a practice that has helped me in today’s article. As well as another very impactful exercise in my upcoming episode with Cynthia Ngoy.
I also recommend therapy, as I do with any other mental health or personal growth topic. My reparenting journey began in therapy. I still have a therapist to this day that I can turn to when I need it. Therapy is always a good and healthy idea – regardless of where you are at in life.
Does Reparenting Work?
Reparenting your inner child is crucial to your healing journey. If you keep walking through life with these wounds, traumas, and unmet needs, they will leak out into other areas of your life. You’ll begin to see it in your relationships, friendships, family, work, and parenting (should you choose to have children).
I also want to point out that there is no wrong time to start reparenting yourself. It doesn’t matter where you are at in life, it is never too late to begin your healing. You will hear from my experience in this episode about healing before I was married or had children. And you will also hear from Cynthia in that future episode about starting her journey after that. Healing happens when you are ready and aware. Just try to be open for that call when it comes.
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