Ever wondered why every day you behave like a grownup but when it comes to emotions you still feel like a child?
Ever asked yourself why is it so hard for you to let go of relationships that only cause pain and suffering?
Or why does it take forever for you to forgive mistakes from the past?
There's a reason for this — you haven't “completed” your childhood.
During childhood, your caregivers taught you how to react in different situations – what's appropriate and what isn't, what's normal and what's not. So, if your caregivers were absent or abusive, you developed unconscious negative habits or patterns that hurt your adult life.
That’s why many people today turn to online therapy. A licensed therapist can help you correct those patterns and learn to care for yourself.
But before that, here’s a self-help guide you can use to heal your inner child.
What Is Reparenting?
Reparenting is a term that describes a process in which a person “interacts” with their inner child and starts giving them the love and care they didn’t get from their parents. It's a gentle, loving process that brings about emotional and physical healing.
Remothering is a reparenting technique for children whose emotional and physical needs were not met by their mothers. Both techniques deal with emotional issues that stem from an unfulfilled childhood. And trained mental health professionals can help you heal.
Is Reparenting Yourself Worth It?
Reparenting yourself is a wonderful and powerful means to heal your inner child. When you heal the mother wound, you have the opportunity to relive all of the painful experiences from childhood in a safe environment where it is possible to undo them and move on with life.
It also allows you to let go of the past in a safe way. You can learn how to forgive your parents for their mistakes.
How to Reparent Yourself
There are three simple steps to reparent yourself:
First, you need to become aware of the fact that your challenging childhood experiences created not a safe space for your inner child within yourself.
Then, you need to set an intention to heal this inner child while taking action towards healing them.
Reparenting Techniques to Heal Your Inner Child
Healing wounds is not a quick process — it can take some time before you actually begin to remother yourself. When you are ready though, start with some of these tips:
Write Letters to Your Inner Child
Find a private place where you can sit or lie comfortably and think about yourself as a child.
Remember how vulnerable, alone, scared, hurt, and unloved you felt as a child?
Draw on those feelings that you experienced as a child and write a letter to yourself as if you are an adult and your inner child is a child.
This can be done with the traditional pen and paper or you could try using email. In these letters, attempt to heal your wounds by apologizing to yourself for not being there before and thanking yourself for taking such good care of yourself now.
When you think about it, each time you say an affirmation, you are telling yourself something positive about yourself that is generally not true in your mind. This kind of praise will help to build your self-esteem and make you believe that you are worthy and deserving.
For example, say to yourself over and over, "I am a kind person". Your inner child will hear this statement and start to believe it.
Make Statements About Yourself
Instead of thinking or saying something negative about yourself, try practicing self-compassion. If you begin to feel bad about the way you look, immediately tell yourself, "I am beautiful."
Your inner child will hear this statement and begin to believe it, changing the way you look at yourself in the process.
Change Your Physical Environment
If you feel stuck in an unhealthy emotional place, change your physical environment in order to help alter your mood. Make a phone call, go for a walk, do shopping, or do something different that will help you see yourself in a more positive light.
This is a way of practicing self-love — being in touch with your needs and actively fulfilling them.
Begin to practice feeling grateful about your life by writing down what you are thankful for. When you focus on the good instead of the bad, your inner child will begin to believe that there is more good in the world than they previously thought.
Do Something Creative
Creative expression provides an opportunity for you to try out new ideas while reparenting yourself at the same time. You could take a pottery class and make some special creations for yourself. You could also write some poetry or make a painting to express your inner feelings which can be a very healing process.
Imagine Being Loved
Now imagine someone holding, caressing, nurturing, kissing your head and telling you "I love you" over and over again.
Imagine this person comforting and soothing all of the hurts that were caused by people who didn't know how to love you. Feel the warmth of this person's hands on your arms and legs, chest, back, and head.
Be aware that the physical sensations are evidence that they truly do care about you. Embrace their unconditional love completely until all of your hurt is gone.
Do Yoga and Meditation
Both of these self-care techniques can be beneficial for healing your inner child's wounds. In fact, yoga is often referred to as the "mother" of meditation because it teaches a variety of ways to be aware and present to your inner world.
Meditation is a powerful way to focus on the breath, which helps with self-awareness as well. Both yoga and meditation can also be used to form a positive relationship with your inner child.
Like any other important relationship, your relationship with yourself requires good communication skills. A trained therapist can help you to rebuild your self-esteem and teach you how to speak better to yourself so that you can interact more effectively with your inner child.
A therapist will also be able to let you know if there is a deeper emotional problem that is preventing you from forming a healthy relationship with yourself. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been found to be particularly effective in dealing with attachment issues.
The Bottom Line
Reparenting yourself is not a quick fix. It takes time and effort for it to be effective. If you keep loving yourself, you have a unique opportunity to heal and consciously choose a different life as an adult.
If you're having a hard time applying any of the tools, methods, or techniques involved, then psychotherapeutic reparenting can help you. Reparenting your inner child with the help of an experienced therapist on Calmerry is a sure way to start having a life full of love and care.
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and has been working in healthcare since 2017. She mainly treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, grief, identity, relationship, and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience is focused on individual and group counseling.
Follow Kate here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-skurat-5348381b9/