After posting this illustration, I had a few questions on what reparenting means. So here is a brief overview!
Reparenting for me is about looking after our inner child (which we ALL have, no matter how grown up we feel). It’s about giving yourself the love, nurturing, support and guidance you needed as a child and you need now as an adult. It’s about changing your inner critical voice and correcting the negative patterns that are playing out in your life.
For me it is about kindness - how I speak and treat myself especially. It’s incredibly healing.
Reparenting often means meeting the needs we have that may not have been met when we were children. This could be any form of emotional or physical neglect, any ways we were not heard or supported and anything fundamental that was missing to build a healthy adult mind.
This requires some reflecting on your childhood. It can be painful to recognise areas where our parents didn't meet our needs. It can make us feel guilty because it feels as if we are criticising them (something we're not expected to do from a societal perspective). However, this is not about shaming them. It doesn't necessarily mean they are bad people. It just means we are reflecting in order to best serve ourselves as adults. We deserve to have our needs met. And realising we are able to fulfil those needs personally now we are adults can be both empowering and comforting.
For more information on reparenting, I recommend this YouTube video by NuMindframe.
There are also lots of amazing resources, books and articles out there. Just search 'reparenting'.
If you hadn’t heard of this before, I hope this introduction will lead to you finding out more. This is something I’m personally working on right now and I hope it will help you as much as it’s helping me.
Prints of the above illustration are available here.