As kids, we tend to think our parents are superheroes who know everything and can do nothing wrong. But the harsh reality is that, as adults, we sometimes realize certain needs weren’t met during childhood. Part of being an adult is understanding that we can learn from the past and be the people we needed when we were younger by self-parenting, or reparenting, ourselves. If you’re ready to heal your inner child, here are some ways to do it.
The Two A’s: Accept and Acknowledge
When we’re young, we often have feelings that we don’t understand enough to associate with names. Sometimes, we’re made to feel bad for having these feelings, which follows us into adulthood. As a self-parent, try to accept and acknowledge everything you feel when you’re feeling it. Learn to use your feelings to help you rather than hurt you.
The Perfect Parent
Think about what you want and need in a parent. A solid starting point is thinking about your parents and the qualities they had that you look up to – or that you can learn from. Next, ask yourself how you would do things differently to help fulfill your needs.
Consistency Is Key
Adulting can be fun, but it also involves doing things we don’t want to do. Having a schedule teaches discipline and responsibility and gives your inner child a sense of safety and consistency. So create a daily plan and routine and stick to it; your past and present selves will thank you.
This is a big one, so pay close attention. On this healing journey, you must look at yourself through the eyes of love. When you talk to or about yourself, do so in a way that makes you feel worthy and valuable –because you are!
Self-Care Is a Must
We don’t mean light candles, read a book, or spend a day at the spa; we’re talking about self-care, as in evaluating what you need. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask yourself how you feel. Are you tired? Treat yourself to a nap as soon as you can. Feeling hangry? Have that snack you’ve been waiting for, and enjoy it. Address your needs daily in a fulfilling, positive, and nurturing way.
Take Healthy Breaks
Self-parenting shouldn’t consume your life. In fact, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have the resources or energy to self-parent. Don’t spend all of your time focusing on healing your inner child. Instead, make sure that you’re nurturing all of you. Distract yourself with things you love, like reading, cooking, art and more.
The Art of Discipline
There comes a point when we must master the art of saying no and setting healthy boundaries. It’s okay to say no to others or yourself without explanation – and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
Keep Your Support System Strong
Most importantly, surround yourself with people that love you, support you, and see the best in you.