I recently had the opportunity to join Good Things Utah for a segment, Struggling to Be the Parent You Want to Be. In this segment we discussed unmet childhood needs, how those impact the way we parent, and how to reparent ourselves. In this episode we talk about:
Signs that you have unmet childhood needs:
1) Constant worry and overprotection of your child
2) Resentment toward your child’s need
3) Linking your worth to your child’s behavior
4) Expecting your child to act grown up
5) Rigid boundaries or lack of boundaries with your child
Core Childhood Needs:
1) Secure attachments and sense of safety
2) Autonomy and self-identity
3) Expression of emotions and needs
4) Play and spontaneity
5) Age-appropriate limits and boundaries
How to reparent yourself and meet your own childhood needs:
1) Identify your unmet core childhood need
Look at the list above and see if any areas were lacking in your family when you were growing up.
2) Allow yourself to feel sad about not having the need met
It’s OK, even healthy to grieve what get didn’t get. We all have imperfect parents who likely did the best they could. This isn’t about blaming them, it’s about taking responsibility for our own healing.
3) Do something now that meets your need
For example, reassure your child self that you will protect her, do something you enjoy, ask for comfort from a trusted relationship, prioritize self-expression, do something you enjoyed as a child.
4) Practice self-compassion in the process
Treat yourself kindly and with patience as you work to meet your own needs and your child’s needs.
You can learn more about reparenting yourself in my new online course, Reparenting Yourself: Grieving and Healing Unmet Childhood Needs.
This course is very impactful for any person who feels they have pain from their childhood. If you have any desire to look into your own current behavior and how that is correlated to unmet childhood needs, this quick and insightful course will help give you the tools to reparent and love your inner child.