The real culprit here is a lack of awareness for oneself and one’s actions.
How to Re-Parent Your Inner Child
Sitting on that lonely bench staring at the blue and yellow flyer, I realized something. Our parents or guardians may not have fulfilled all our needs or any of our needs, but we can. The concept is strange, even foreign to us, but we can be our own parents. Not only that, but we can actually re-parent ourselves if we put in enough time and effort.
- Greater happiness and optimism.
- Improved creativity.
- A healthier mind, body, and soul.
- Stronger friendships and relationships.
- Development of essential life skills: acceptance, forgiveness, vulnerability, compassion, self-love.
From what I have experienced, witnessed, and researched, the following steps will help you to reconnect, and re-parent your inner child.
1. Be willing and open to make that connection.
Hosting any doubt, hesitation or cynicism will slow the process of healing that vulnerable, childlike side of yourself.
2. Think about what you were like as a child.
Meditate on how you felt, what you liked, disliked, and what your hobbies and passions were. Gain a clear image of who your inner child is. Looking at old photographs can stimulate many memories (and in my experience stirs a lot of emotion, so you may like to prepare yourself).
3. Encourage your childlike self to come out and “play”.
For example, try doing something you loved as a child (e.g. blowing bubbles, swinging on a set of swings, eating candy, playing with toy cars, doing handstands).
4. Introduce more “playtime” into your life.
Be silly. Do something pointless and ridiculous just for the pure enjoyment of it. As “grownups” we have this absurd unspoken belief that life must always be serious; about responsibility and duty. The quickest thing to age you is not your body, but your mindset.
5. Explore why you have been so out-of-touch with your inner child.
What was it that happened in your childhood or adolescent years that cut you off from that vulnerable, innocent and playful side of yourself? How did your parents or guardians treat you as a child? Did they cater to your emotional, psychological and/or physical needs? Did you experience any trauma? How do your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and beliefs reflect what you experienced as a child? In order to better know yourself and the reasons why you’ve ended up in the place you are, it is essential to ask these tough questions and seek for solid answers.
6. Take steps to provide a safe, supportive and nurturing life for yourself.
In order to truly re-parent yourself, you must develop Self-Love. You must be able to see that you are intrinsically valuable, loveable and worthy, and take steps to affirm that in your life. Such steps could include daily affirmations, e.g. “I am worthy. I honor my inner child. I am safe and loved. I have freedom and happiness.” Other steps could include changing negative habits and mindsets and replacing them with new ones, treating and rewarding yourself, as well as developing mindfulness and awareness of your fundamental emotional, psychological and physical needs.