“To reparent yourself, is to emotionally repair all that, which wasn’t consciously met or attended to when you were a child”
Why is now the perfect time to reparent yourself?
…or to begin doing the reparenting work?
Firstly, What is REPARENTING?
Reparenting is the process of:
- Naming and
- Getting your own needs met
Many of us grew up in environments where we weren’t taught healthy ways of getting our own needs met. Likely because our caregivers weren’t very good at getting their own needs met either.
If you grew up in a dysfunctional household, you were likely left ”to figure it out alone”. If your basic physical, emotional or spiritual needs weren’t met as a child, to any capacity, you can benefit from the process of reparenting your inner child as an adult.
Maybe your parents were there for you and did their best with what they had, but perhaps had their own struggles. Maybe they didn’t have the ability to guide you through your own experience. Or maybe they didn’t have the tools and communication skills to explain things in an age-appropriate way.
The truth is, we all have experienced some form of trauma early on, no matter how present and intentional our parents were.
So why is now the time to do reparent yourself?
Because, our kids are currently experiencing trauma too.
I consider myself to be a present and connected parent. I have a 4 year old daughter and an 18 year old stepchild, (and one currently on the way). I’m well aware of what kind of trauma my kids are experiencing right now, in fact, I’ve been doing this work for the last decade.
Even with best intentions in mind, I simply cannot always be there and catch every nuance of their experience. And that’s okay. I’m human. Things are happening, and I need space to process and integrate before I can be a helpful guide to them. If I didn’t know how to be with myself, know how to meet and nurture my own big feelings and deep emotions, how can I support them?
That’s why the work to reparent and repair the inner child is essential right now.
I get to meet myself and nurture myself in a way perhaps I’ve never been met before. Being a parent will surely illuminate the parts of us that need to be cared for. Are you attending to those parts? This process can be done in the moment and it involves everyone, including children (at any age).
I say this with so much love and compassion. If your kids are currently experiencing trauma, and you are not consciously present and available to help them process their experiences, then they are likely storing the trauma somewhere in their subconscious / their bodies. Unprocessed trauma can show up later on in life as physical or mental manifestations or dis-ease.
We have an opportunity, right now, to prevent the future generations from carrying the heaviness of unprocessed trauma.
Even if you are not a parent (yet) there is a “Little You” inside, who is longing for your presence and connection.
Anytime you feel big feelings in your life, like Fear, Anger, Grief, Sadness, there is likely a younger version of yourself who knows those feelings well.
I started to reparent my own inner child long before I had human babies.
Even with my *bonus daughter”, whom I didn’t give birth to, I find myself practicing reparenting with my inner teenage self. She’s a teenager, early adolescence and I vividly remember that particular time of my life. Once again, a time I was left to figure things out on my own, without the guidance of someone to help me process and understand my experience at the time.
That’s not a judgement, however I did develop ways of numbing and self protection, ways of hardening my shell, that are no longer needed and no longer serve me.
For instance, simple things like being a teenager, having fun with friends, being excited for University, and trying to decide what life will look like. I didn’t get to have the “normal” experience as a teenager. I had to grew up fast, because I was needed to take care of other smaller children (my twin siblings) with whom I have a 12 year age gap.
Teenagers today are also robbed of the ‘normal’ teenage experience, either because of the current situation of the pandemic were living through, or something else in their own life experience.
My point is that we’re all feeling similar emotions, but for different reasons.
The only way I could help my kids, is if I had a way to help myself. If I had a way to understand, process and transform my experience. So that I no longer needed those protective mechanisms I had learned when I was growing up.
As parents and guardians we are no good to anyone when we show up in a triggered state. That’s why the process of repairing and reparenting is so important right now.
These are some key elements of the reparenting process:
- Safe space
- Active listening skills
- Communication skills
- Self care
The most important part to remember is that, this is a process!
Just like, you can’t lose 20lb by working out once, reparenting is a devoted practice. It requires devotion to yourself first, and then to your children, (born or unborn), or the children around you.
Adults who have done repairing work feel like safe space to be around, they feel connected, they’re able to listen, they understand. The conversations that they’re able to lead are effective and nurturing.
Reparenting yourself can directly influence your intimate relationships as well. Every aspect of the reparenting process can affect all relationship in your life, including the more intimate once with your partners:
- Getting to know what your needs are and asking for them to be met, promotes intimacy
- Your communication skills will improve
- Boundaries are sexy
I’ve done this work for many years both personally and professionally. I have been able to lead groups and participate in groups where this has been an essential topic – the act of reparenting oneself. I’m finding that now is a really really good time in history to engage in this type of work. Especially if you care for children or if you simply feel that you yourself as a smaller child didn’t get the kind of attention that you needed.
This is no longer about your parents or their parents. This in fact of something that will help generations forward because of the work that you are choosing to do. Reparenting work is for adults in leadership positions.
You are the leader. You get to go first.
Emotional repair is really important right now. If you are able to reparent yourself, then you will be able to do emotional repair with your children in the moment. We have knowledge and tools to be able to work with trauma in the moment. We don’t need to wait 10, 20, 30 years until we process it.
I feel confident bringing up children in this world. While I’m not always able to be fully present or be exactly who and how they need me to be, I’m able to collect myself understand the situation, and repair the emotions in the moment. This means that no one has to store trauma. Most importantly we don’t have to hold on to trauma that can be repaired with conscious presence.
Over to you…
Have you done any reparenting work?
Do you see yourself in your children’s experiences?
Do you try to protect them from their big feelings?
Please leave a comment below 🕯🤍