Five Healing Ways to Re-Parent Your Inner Child
Have you ever wondered why being back at your parents’ house can make you feel like you’re fifteen again?
All of your maturity and rational thinking can suddenly go out the window, and you find yourself getting upset over things that haven’t bothered you in ages.
Maybe you’ve been hanging out with a friend only for them to do something that immediately upsets you, even though logically, you can’t seem to figure out why it’s bothering you at all. Maybe your partner had to reschedule a date due to a work emergency, and you don’t understand why you’re feeling so upset about it.
These can all be signs that you need to get in touch with your inner child, the part of you that still needs to heal from past hurts to move forward in the present.
At KMA, we know how important healing your past can be (even when it feels like you should be over it by now.) Our team of therapists has the expertise to help you find the kind of inner child healing that will work best for you.
By the end of this article, you’ll know what your inner child is, what re-parenting your inner child means, and our top five tips on how to heal your inner child.
What is My Inner Child?
We all have an inner child. Our inner child is the piece of us that may have been hurt during our childhood, whether we consciously realize it or not.
It’s the vulnerable part of ourselves that is formed during the earliest time in our life, and its impact on us as we grow older affects us in more ways than we might realize.
Ways that our inner child wounds might show themselves include:
- Experiencing anxiety when faced with new situations
- Feeling guilty when setting boundaries with others
- Experiencing shame around intense emotions
- Being a perfectionist or a people-pleaser
- Having difficulty trusting other people
Healing our inner child can often be referred to as reparenting.
This process allows us to acknowledge what might have been missing during childhood and ensures our inner child feels safe, valued, and loved.
Reparenting our inner child can also be important for breaking intergenerational cycles and setting ourselves up to become the kind of parents we want to be.
The Top Five Ways To Heal Your Inner Child
Whether you know exactly what your childhood wounds were, or you are just starting to explore your connection with your inner child, these tips will help you get in touch with the child you used to be.
1. Embracing the Benefits of Journaling
This advice can feel repetitive, but we’re told to journal so often because, well, it works.
Journaling about your inner child can help you identify where you have experienced hurt in the past, how it’s still affecting you, and what you need to do to heal it.
We’ve collected a list of journaling prompts to help you connect with your inner child:
- What situations make you feel out of control?
- Would you consider yourself a “people-pleaser?”
- Can you think of a time when you felt like you were “too much” for the people around you?
- Can you think of any areas of your life where you might benefit from setting stronger boundaries?
- What is one negative belief that you have about yourself, and what would you rather believe instead?
2. Writing a Letter to Your Inner Child
Writing a letter to a previous version of yourself might feel a bit strange at first, but it can be surprisingly healing.
When we talk about healing our inner child, it can be easy to criticize ourselves for the way that we respond to other people or situations.
We can become frustrated at the patterns of behaviour we’ve developed over our life, and wish we could just break them.
It’s important to consider the other side of this – our inner child did the best that they could with the resources that they had in the moment.
We’ve developed these patterns of behaviour because, for a long time, they worked.
Forgiving your inner child by writing a letter to them can be incredibly healing.
3. Nurturing Our Healthy Relationships
One of the ways a wounded inner child can be expressed is through a deep need to people-please.
You may have trouble saying no to people or deeply fear the consequences of a small fight with a friend.
We can remind ourselves that we’re safe in the present moment by looking at all of the positive relationships we have right now.
Whether that’s connecting with family members who uplift you or tapping into a network of friends who support you, remembering that there are people who love and care about you exactly as you are is an important step in healing.
4. Making Space for Fun and Creativity
Inner child healing can feel like a heavy subject, but it can also be light and fun!
In order to heal your inner child, you also have to understand them. What kinds of things did you enjoy as a child? What did playtime look like for you?
If you don’t know where to start, that’s okay. A great first step is to create a safe space for yourself where you’re allowed to be messy and imperfect.
You can explore your relationship with your inner child by:
- Reading your favourite book or watching your favourite movie from when you were younger
- Trying a new hobby you wanted to learn as a kid (and letting yourself be bad at it)
- Creating the time and space for what is fun for you as an adult, too
- Making some art – try sketching, sculpting, or even finger painting
- Making your favourite childhood snack or comfort meal
5. Connecting with a Therapist
There is no shame in needing a bit of extra help with anything we’ve outlined above. We understand how scary, as silly as that might sound, it is to reconnect with your inner child.
Journaling and self-reflection are amazing tools, and it can feel empowering to heal independently. However, our healing can become even deeper when we connect with other people, such as a therapist.
A therapist can help support you in healing your inner child by setting up a safe space for you to heal, helping you answer questions that you didn’t even know to ask, and coming up with coping strategies for those moments when your inner child feels overwhelmed.
Next Steps to Reparenting Your Inner Child
In this article, you gained a clear understanding of what your inner child is, how reparenting your inner child can help improve your life, and five ways to reparent your inner child.
Remember that it’s okay to have mixed feelings about your inner child and the strategies that you used to cope. Healing your inner child is a personal journey, and the strategies that we’ve outlined above can help you with yours.
If you’d like to explore how a therapist can help heal your inner child, we’d be happy to help.
Our supportive team of therapists has a variety of skills and expertise to ensure you’ll find the best fit for your specific needs.
Reach out to our team or fill out an intake form below!
If you’re not yet ready to talk to one of our team members, you may be interested in reading about some other relevant topics: