Reparenting Ourselves While Parenting Our Children

In the midst of parenting, it’s easy to forget that we’re not just guiding our children; we’re also continually evolving ourselves. Reparenting ourselves while nurturing our children and teens is an insightful journey that bridges the gap between the past and present, facilitating healing and growth for both the parent and the child. This dual journey of reparenting and parenting is profound, challenging, and ultimately transformative.

The Art of Reparenting Ourselves

Reparenting is the process of giving yourself what you didn’t receive in childhood. It’s about nurturing your inner child, healing past wounds, and fostering a compassionate relationship with yourself. This process is crucial for parents, as unresolved issues from our own childhoods can surface and influence how we parent our children. By reparenting ourselves, we ensure that we’re not unconsciously passing on harmful patterns or unmet needs to our children.

The Influence of Our Inner Child on Parenting

Our inner child, that part of us that holds onto our childhood experiences, emotions, and needs, plays a significant role in how we parent. When we’re stressed, overwhelmed, or triggered, it’s often our inner child reacting. Recognizing this can be a powerful insight. It allows us to pause and ask, “What does my inner child need right now?” This question can lead to more mindful responses to our children’s behaviors, rather than reacting from a place of past hurt or unmet needs.

Strategies for Reparenting While Parenting

Self-Reflection: Regularly take time to reflect on your childhood experiences. Identify patterns or behaviors in your parenting that may be rooted in your own past. Acknowledge these without judgment.

Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Parenting is challenging, and it’s okay to make mistakes. Learn to comfort yourself in moments of doubt or frustration, just as you would comfort your child.

Mindful Communication: Strive to communicate with your children in ways that you wish you had been spoken to. This can involve actively listening, validating their feelings, and expressing yourself clearly and compassionately.

Set Boundaries: Learning to set healthy boundaries is a crucial part of reparenting. This involves saying no when necessary, prioritizing self-care, and teaching your children to respect these boundaries, thereby modeling self-respect and self-care for them.

Seek Support: Parenting and reparenting can be overwhelming. Seeking support from a therapist, joining a parenting group, or connecting with friends who understand can provide valuable perspective and encouragement.

The Mutual Growth of Parent and Child

As we embark on the journey of reparenting ourselves, we’re not only healing our inner child but also enriching our children’s lives. Through this process, we can break cycles of trauma, build healthier relationships, and provide our children with a solid foundation of emotional intelligence and resilience.

Parenting with an awareness of our own reparenting needs allows us to be more present, empathetic, and effective as parents. It teaches our children that growth is a lifelong journey, that it’s okay to be vulnerable, and that healing is not only possible but powerful.

In nurturing our inner child while parenting, we discover that the greatest gift we can offer our children and ourselves is the freedom to be fully human—flaws, strengths, and all. This journey of mutual growth fosters a home environment where love, understanding, and healing flourish, setting the stage for a future where both parent and child thrive.

Conclusion

The intertwining paths of reparenting ourselves and parenting our children offer a unique opportunity for healing and growth. By facing our past, nurturing our inner child, and embracing mindful parenting practices, we can foster deeper connections with our children and guide them towards a compassionate, resilient future. This journey is not without its challenges, but the rewards—a stronger sense of self, healthier relationships, and a generational legacy of healing—are immeasurably profound.

Kristian is the owner and Lead Psychotherapist here at Resilient Child Therapy Institute and has a passion for helping young people live a resilient life!

Lego® Play Therapy Group

March 19 – April 16, 2022

Our new five-week therapy group aims to provide children ages 8-10 with skills training in social communication, collaborative problem-solving, and fine motor development. This group is ideal for children with a variety of communication and social development difficulties. Due to COVID, we will only be accepting a limited number of registrants and requiring masks.