Some addicts and alcoholics did not have happy childhoods. They may remember a few happy events, but that’s as far as it goes. Their parents may have tried to do a good job, but because of extenuating circumstances weren’t able. Perhaps they didn’t do a good enough job altogether, or they were abusive. The sad factor is, the parents themselves may not have had a healthy, well-functioning childhood home either. Such is the cycle of abuse and addiction.
What does it mean to reparent yourself? Reparenting yourself is giving yourself what you didn’t receive as child. Reparenting is about accountability and self love.
Let’s hypothesize that a child spray painted expletives on the neighbors trash cans, but wasn’t held accountable for various reasons. Not being help accountable hinders a child from forming healthy boundaries and learning right from wrong. Not being disciplined can create behavioral problems for the child in the near or distant future.
In another scenario a child steals something from school and gets caught. A parent might send the child to their room, ground them for a week, or enforced some other kind of punishment. While the parent was holding the child accountable through natural consequences for the bad behavior, they could have gone a few steps further.
They could have sat down with the child and gone over what he or she did, and why they chose to do it. If the parent had asked those questions, the child might have gained insight into their actions. The child could have acted out because something was bothering them and they didn’t have the developmental capacity to deal with it.
In most life situations, we are only doing the best we can. We make mistakes. We hurt people’s feelings. Learning to reparent yourself can really make a difference in your present life if you were a child who wasn’t held accountable, wasn’t disciplined, or was only punished for your behavior. Reparenting yourself can lead to a healthier relationship and a more grounded and fulfilled life through self-compassion.
When you reparent yourself you become accountable for your actions. It’s best not to let the parent in you punish you further than the hurt or shame you already feel for whatever it is you said or did. In other words, reparenting is best accomplished with self compassion. Find the lost and angry child part inside you. Wrap your arms around her or him and give yourself the love and kindness you may not have received. If you have tears to shed, let them go. You are whole and you are loved.
Infinite change is possible. Start making a change in your life today by calling Infinity Malibu for information on our private residential treatment programs: 888-266-9048