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Inner Child Work: How to Reparent Yourself

If you‘ve been following me on social media, you’ll recall that I recently posted a series on inner child healing. Click here to get caught up.

So, let me pause here and remind you that your inner child is YOU! It’s the younger version of you that lives within the adult you. The inner child is a stored memory and a filter through which you experience adulthood. The inner child informs how you react, interact and respond to the outside world. The inner child can be expressed through playfulness, fun, and innocence. It can also display itself as wounded or hurt through adult tantrums, feeling small, being accommodating, feeling vulnerable, angry/rageful, and in need of protection, especially if your inner child has unresolved emotional experiences because a parent or caregiver didn’t meet your need to be seen, heard and loved. Everybody has an inner child that wants and needs to be seen, heard, and loved, and when we don’t get it that child becomes wounded and shows itself in our adult interactions. For example, if we weren’t listened to, we may overshare. If we were ignored, we might overdo it. If we were shut out, we might leave people before they have a chance to leave us. The list goes on… and on.

Even as adults we can perpetuate some of the harsh and limiting conditions that we endured on to our own kids or the children around us. While this isn’t a blog post about conscious parenting, I do need to point out that everything we experienced as children is reflected back to us either through our children (for those that have them) or in the way we parent/re-parent ourselves. I recently attended a family function and I heard an adult say that “a child needs to stay in a child’s place” when one of the kids chimed into a conversation that the adults were having. Hearing that struck me and triggered me to ask the question, what is “a child’s place” anyway? Is it a child’s place to remain unseen and unheard, not given the opportunity to speak or express themselves to the adults in the room? To not be expressive, playful, and connect through conversation and curiosity? Like, what is that? And we wonder why many of us are ‘Jelly Backs’, doormats, mutes, and find it difficult to feel valuable and secure. This is the kind of treatment that gives deeper insight into where we are wounded and have unresolved issues with our inner child.

I even found myself at one point shh-ing and constantly trying to quiet my own daughter until I realized that I was doing to her what was done to me; I was teaching her that her voice was not important and that her unique energy, spunk, and curiosity that will serve her well later in life was unwanted and unacceptable. That realization shifted things for me in how I treated her, myself, and the inner child in me.

So what can we do? What do we do to attend to, love on, reassure, strengthen, and heal that wounded little person on the inside that shows up when we’re triggered? Take a look at these 4 tools and strategies to help you reconnect and re-parent the kid in you.

  1. Play: Ride a bike, visit a playground, watch cartoons, play board games, blow bubbles… just play like you were a kid again (Be careful if you have weak ankles, troubled knees, or a bad back. We don’t want anybody getting hurt out there.)

  2. Write a letter to the inner child in you: Pull out a picture of yourself when you were a child and write her a letter telling her all of the things that she needed and wanted to here

  3. Connect with your inner child through meditation: This is great for those who meditate and like visualization. Check out this guided meditation that I created to help you connect.

  4. Speak up: Know that your place as a child then, as an adult now, as a fragment of God is to SPEAK… EXPRESS! When you express, you create. So when you are tempted to stay quiet and not be expressive, then you perpetuate the oppression of remaining unseen, unheard, unaccepted, and unworthy. Speaking up can look like journaling (voice or written), blogging, literally talking (to God in prayer, yourself, or a trusted friend), etc.

Bonus: Use these inner child affirmations to deepen your inner child connection and healing:

  • “It’s ok to ask for help and be strong at the same time.”

  • “I believe in you. You got this.”

  • “Your big feelings are not bad. It’s ok to feel”

  • “You did the best you could with the resources and the knowledge you had at the time.”

  • “You don’t have to be perfect to deserve love and acceptance.”

  • “The bad things you went through are not a reflection of your worth or value. You are worthy and valuable.”

  • “The way you handled difficult situations in the past were intelligent adaptations to your environment that helped you survive- and now it’s safe to let them go now.

  • “I’m here for you. You don’t have to do this all by yourself.”

You get to redefine what a “child’s place” is. You are now the responsible adult and have the wisdom to care for the kid in you in a way that you weren’t when you were younger.

By checking in with your inner child often and giving it what it needs, you not only begin to build trust with yourself and your inner knowing, you teach yourself to process emotions in a healthy way, how to hold boundaries, find confidence, and joy, how to reclaim your power and heal those wounded places within you that keeps reactive and from moving into a deeper space of self-love and self-acceptance that get projected and mirrored back to you.

There are so many more ways to heal through inner child work. Check out my Living In The No Transformational Journey where we dive deeper into inner child work and more.

Also, if self-paced courses or group coaching isn’t your thing and you’re feeling the nudge to work with me 1:1, then be sure you check out my Empowerment Private Coaching program:

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