Since we are born, we have no means to defend ourselves and have to face the world under the protection, love, and guidance of our parents. Unfortunately, not all parents provide the love, acceptance, emotional availability, and even sometimes the basic physical needs that children need to thrive.
The result of this is that people grow up with childhood trauma stuck inside them that rules them even as adults. It can be viewed as having a wounded child living inside you, where the absence of nurturing and trauma leaves deep wounds that contaminate their behavior as adults. Consequently, a person might develop issues with confidence and even self-love.
To fix this, people have to turn to professional emotional support through online therapy and counseling. But there’s one more great way to start healing these wounds — reparenting yourself. It is a concept we have broken down in-depth in this article.
What Is Reparenting?
Reparenting means providing yourself the essential things you did not receive in your childhood from your parents. It best applies to people whose parents were unavailable to them physically or emotionally. It can also help people who were harmed by those responsible for protecting and guarding them.
Since there’s no changing the past, the next best option is giving the wounded inner child inside all the love, dignity, care, and respect you didn’t receive. Learning to be your own parent helps avoid poor parenting in the future.
Some Signs You Might Have Had a Wounded Childhood
The first step to solving a problem is recognizing it. Many people have issues as adults that can be traced to their upbringing, but they can’t recognize some of the signs based on their behaviors as adults.
Here are some of the common signs to watch out for:
- Being a people pleaser
- Being a rebel and feeling alive during a conflict with others
- Being a hoarder
- Finding it hard to let go of people or possessions
- Experiencing anxiety when trying new things
- Often feeling that something is wrong with you
- Feeling ashamed of your body and having other self-esteem issues
- Finding it difficult to trust others
- Fear of being abandoned
- Feeling guilty for setting boundaries with others
- Being constantly self-critical
- Avoiding conflict at any cost
If you recognize a few of the above characteristics within yourself, chances are you might have had a wounded childhood and might need to start reparenting yourself.
7 Ways to Reparent Your Inner Child
As an adult facing some of the above issues, it might be difficult to find your place in the world and even relationships with others. Healing your inner child will help you thrive in the future.
Below are some of the tips on how to reparent yourself. It is a process that takes time, and you should ease into it.
1. Stop the Blame
It might be encouraging to hear that you are not alone in blaming yourself for the things you cannot control or cannot achieve. Blaming yourself is easy, but it rarely changes anything. It also continues the harm that bad parenting is responsible for.
Guilt and self-blame are counterproductive and consume a person, making them sink into stress and depression or foster fear and self-doubt in life. So, stop taking on blame and focus on improving your life.
2. Treat Yourself with Understanding and Compassion
Compassion involves caring about others and showing affection, concern, and generosity. Most of us show compassion to others but not when it comes to ourselves. We are self-critical and don’t show the same level of understanding and empathy we offer others which shouldn’t be the case.
Practice self-compassion and show more understanding and patience to your person. Also, forgive yourself and learn to release the negative feelings you have about yourself.
You cannot change the past, but you can change the way you feel about it in the present. If you did not receive compassion when you were younger, start remothering yourself by being kinder to yourself.
3. Learn to Embrace Your Feelings
It’s easy to develop a tendency to push your feelings aside, which is harmful since they always come to bite back. Facing our past can be painful and challenging, but it is something we all need to do at some point.
Ignoring your feelings attracts hardships, and instead, you should focus on dealing with these feelings. You would be surprised by how much your emotions impact the world around you.
By dealing with your feelings, you learn to let go of negativity and open yourself up for a better quality of life.
4. Accept Yourself
We are all flawed. No one is perfect, but you will still see people refusing to accept this fact. Unless such a person feels or is seen as perfect, they cannot feel happiness or worthy of love. The desire to be perfect often stems from the fear of rejection which develops during childhood.
Understand that the only person who needs to accept you is you. Be your true self and avoid walking on eggshells with others in the fear that they will reject you if they meet the real you.
It might be terrifying to do, but at the end of the day, wouldn’t you rather be with people who voluntarily accept you and your flaws?
5. Practice Self-Care
We often forget to take care of ourselves when life drags us to the depths of despair. However, those tough times are when self-care is a priority. You should pamper your body and mind and give yourself time to recover after hard work.
Neglecting your body and mind leads to more problems in the long run, like depression, anxiety, and insomnia. So, learn to take care of yourself, and it will help you become more resilient when coping with life’s challenges.
Self-care tips that help with reparenting include:
- Practicing good hygiene
- Doing something you enjoy every day
- Finding ways to relax
- Seeing friends
- Leading a healthy lifestyle
6. Associate with Supportive People
The people you spend a lot of your time around influence your life a lot. They are the people who can help you stay motivated, grounded, and keep you accountable. However, if they are toxic, they’ll instill counterproductive traits like self-doubt.
Ensure the people you surround yourself with are supportive and positive and limit your time with toxic ones, even if they are family. Some people have to remother themselves because their real mothers weren’t emotionally available or fostered a lot of negativity in their young lives.
It’s not advisable to cut ties with family, but you should draw boundaries with toxic family members and limit their involvement in your life.
7. Gift Yourself Structure
Some homes lack structure, while others have too much of it. As a child, you might not have had the power to alter any of it, but you can create the right structure for yourself as an adult. Self-control is a great factor when it comes to happiness.
So, set your goals, and arrange your life efficiently and healthily. Create boundaries with yourself and others and practice discipline.
All the above reparenting techniques are useful in helping people take back control of their lives. However, some might need professional help when it comes to issues related to their childhood. These are not issues that anyone should face alone.
Professional mental health counseling goes a long way in helping people get to the bottom of issues that stem from their childhood. For example, psychotherapeutic reparenting helps you develop the structure you missed out on as a child, improve your self-esteem, and resolve the issues you had as a child.
Calmerry provides the connection with trained and professional therapists. They’ll help you heal that mother wound and provide the guidance and hope you need for the future.