One of the most profound ways support our well-being is to examine our inner child wounding and work towards reparenting ourselves around them. To some degree we have ALL been wounded as a child, regardless of intent or duration. These wounds remain within us consciously and mostly unconsciously, and show up in our adult lives in ways that often lead to further wounding.
Gaining insights and learning ways to support ourselves around these wounds can yield clarity, relief, and greater self-awareness. Tending to our inner child as adults is a skill known as “reparenting.” Self-help reparenting is an impactful way to improve relating to self and others, which can ultimately help to meet our need for quality connections and improve well-being.
Self-help reparenting involves giving ourselves what we did not receive as a child. Much easier said than done, but not impossible and totally worthwhile. This has implications that can truly transform lives – nonviolent communication coupled with reparenting and non-shaming self-talk has done just that for me.
Looking at our triggers and behaviors can be helpful to us as we hone in on inner child wounding and reparenting. Check out the lists below to consider your experience. Which of the following inner child wounds below speaks most to you? Perhaps you won’t experience all of the items under the lists, but in general, which list(s) do you most identify with? Are there a few areas that speak to you?
Inner Child Wounds
- feels “left out”
- fears being left
- hates being alone
- threatens to leave
- normally attracts emotionally unavailable people
- feels “sorry” or “bad”
- doesn’t like to ask for things
- uses guilt to manipulate
- is afraid to set boundaries
- normally attracts people who make them feel guilty
- is afraid to be hurt
- doesn’t trust themselves
- finds ways to not trust people
- feels insecure and needs a lot of external validation
- doesn’t feel safe
- normally attracts people who don’t feel safe
- struggles to let things go
- has low self-worth
- gets angry easily
- struggles to say “no”
- represses emotions
- fears being vulnerable
- normally attracts people who don’t appreciate them or make them feel “seen”
Are you able to recall experiences in your childhood that caused the wounding you’ve identified with? Can you think of examples of how these wounds relate to you as a child, and also now as an adult? Without judgement or shame, think honestly about how these wounds show up in your adult life. What “behaviors” do you tend to display when your wounds are triggered? What steps can you take to reparent yourself when you are triggered to help with emotional recognition, validation, and regulation?
What does that little one in you need to feel or hear? Can you give it to yourself? How does it feel? Try it, over and over in the days to come … Do you notice a shift in how you feel? Are you able to meet your own needs? I believe in you, and I believe with a continued conscious practice you can.