Reparenting your inner child is an option for those who are, as adults today, affected symptomatically in their relationships; with themselves, loved ones, and even with those in the workplace – because of what was experienced in childhood. Whatever may have affected us negatively in childhood, inner child reconciliation explores the healing journey of reconnecting to our younger self thus re-learning all that we can be.
Counsellors Bob Brotchie and Penni Osbourn provide valuable insights and knowledge to help you better understand what old wounds are triggering you now. They will also help you to understand how to compassionately mend unhealthy patterns and nurture yourself back to a place of being aware, awake, and enough. They do this, having done this very work for themselves.
Even though we grow up physically, we still have qualities from the child we once were. Our sense of play, fun, and wonder helps us to enjoy life! However, sometimes our inner child can also cause us to have sudden reactions like fear, anger, or jealousy.
Through our guidance, where sought and appropriate, we signpost you to resources such as guided meditations and journaling exercises, where you will learn to listen to, and comfort your younger self. This in turn, to create a more balanced way of living. AND if affected this way, to reduce the need for numbing behaviours or unwanted anger that leads so often to regret.
You will develop the skills to bridge your adult self with your inner child, so you can experience more joy, cultivate greater success, and foster healthier relationships.
What does it mean to reparent your inner child?
Reparenting your inner child means nurturing yourself in a different way. Every person has a part of themselves that needs love, guidance, nurturing, and boundaries. That part is your inner child. As an adult, you are so used to taking care of your physical body, talking about your feelings, trying to figure yourself out, and trying to figure other people out. When you do this, you are usually doing your work from your “adult place”.
We are so busy trying to figure things out from our adult place that we never stop to look at the other part of us that is holding onto all our hurt from when we were little.
What we have found, from working with hundreds of people over the years, is that we all have an inner child that we forget about. It is that part of ourselves that we need to learn to listen to – and acknowledge – to heal. The only way to do that is by bridging our adult self and our inner child with love, acknowledgment, and validation. We can’t heal what we don’t know. By getting to know our inner child, we can then begin to heal.
Why do we need to do this?
It’s so important for everyone to do this work so that we can live more peacefully in the world. When we are peaceful, we are happier. When we are happier, we feel better. When we feel better, we want to do better. When we do better, we can have better relationships in all aspects of our lives, whilst reducing ‘less welcome’ behaviours.
We can parent our own children better and be better role models for others. By learning to reparent our inner child, we learn to be less reactive and more proactive in our life. We learn to hold space for others when their inner child is reacting, therefore we don’t take things so personally. So by reparenting our inner child, we begin to understand ourselves in ways we never have before.
How do you know if your inner child needs attention?
You know your inner child needs you when you start to feel certain things. When you don’t listen, your inner child starts to act out.
A non-triggered inner child is fun, joyful, and creative. A triggered inner child may have temper tantrums, call people names, feel defensive, feel anxious, feel jealous, and so on. The only person who can help your inner child is your healthy adult.
Your healthy adult needs to sit for a moment, and connect, and tell your inner child that things are okay.
Let your inner child know that you will handle the work frustrations, and that it is not the responsibility of a child to handle these matters. Your inner child can come to work with you to be creative and to bring light and joy.
Our Triggers and How They Relate to This Work
Our triggers are the little things that push our buttons and remind us of the things we still need to heal. They send out the alarm bells that say, “We need to work on this because I’m still feeling bad.”
No one here is perfect. If we are alive, we have emotional triggers, most likely from our childhood. The goal is to recognize them and take a timeout to acknowledge what is still hurting us. From there we can talk with our inner child to understand why they feel bad.
Once we understand why, we can give the reassurance that he or she is safe. That is why it’s called “re-parenting” our inner child. We are learning to reparent that little part of us that is hurt. However, although we acknowledge their pain, they do not engage with words or conversation, rather it is noticeable how they feel after being recognised through us the adult.
Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN)
Many adults believe the childhood was “just fine”, and that’s okay! This work isn’t about criticising or blaming caregivers for what they did or did not offer. They most likely did what they did with what they had and any subsequent emotional deficit being caused without insight or awareness.
An invaluable resource we often recommend is via the author of Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect by Dr Jonice Webb PhD. Her website offers an excellent Childhood Emotional Neglect Questionnaire. We also highly recommend her blog.
You will also see Anglia Counselling Ltd on Jonice Webb’s global preferred therapist listings as competent providers of services to this client audience who experienced childhood emotional neglect (CEN). We provide our services online globally as well as in-person at our Kentford, Newmarket Suffolk offices.
Sadly, but also significantly, there are many who were abused. For these individuals, Bob Brotchie offers various trauma resolution services, such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), to help reduce or eliminate emotions that drive suboptimal beliefs and behaviours today. In any of this work, you will:
- start by understanding who your inner child is – and who your adult is. You can’t do this work until you know the roles that each play in your life. You will learn to balance between your adult place and your inner child, and you will rediscover the happy, healthy child within.
- will identify your triggers and how to handle them. Then you can start to look at the other relationships in your life and see how both your inner child and another person’s inner child have been affecting your relationships.
- learn to set boundaries between yourself and others. By loving yourself first, you can create better relationships in all areas of your life.
All the work is done in a caring and gentle way to help you bridge the two parts of yourself. Bob and Penni create a safe space to explore and communicate to your inner child. As you move from each childhood neglected period, the relationship between your inner child and adult will improve, deepen, and heal.