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When I began my conscious parenting journey a decade ago, I knew little to nothing about reparenting yourself or connecting with your inner child. In fact, when those terms did scuttle across my radar, I usually dismissed them as concepts that were too “out there” or irrelevant to me. I just wanted to be kind, gentle, and respectful with my new baby boy. Why did I need to connect with a younger version of myself in order to do that? Why did I need to “reparent” myself? It all seemed silly and unnecessary if I’m being totally honest.
Soon enough, I began to understand why this work matters.
Naively, I just thought “wanting” to be conscious and responsive was enough. I thought I could white-knuckle my way to responding calmly and kindly in the face of my child’s epic meltdowns.
Nope. I soon discovered that I had unconscious or automatic responses to my child’s big feelings that were planted deep in my psyche many years ago.
I began to realize that I had inherited narratives about children and how to “discipline” them that need to be reviewed and radically revised.
And the only way to do that was to pay a visit to my younger self. I needed to start the process of overwriting scripts about punishment and hierarchy and over-powering children.
In short, I realized I was going to have to dip my toe into the waters of reparenting myself (as much as I didn’t want to and still felt skeptical about how necessary it was). Interestingly, the very thing I had been avoiding – reparenting myself – become a full-fledged passion and I began the work of empowering parents to raise themselves right alongside their children.
While I didn’t set out on this reparenting journey with a formula or 10-step-process, as I’ve reflected upon my own process, I can now see that there were six steps I consistently integrated into how I parented and related to myself that I’m sharing with you in this post.
Remember, this is a non-linear journey and it’s messy. Lean on these six steps as guides, not strict regimens you have to follow. Tune into that inner guide we’ve all got inside. Rediscovering her instincts is part of the healing journey.
FIVE WAYS I BEGAN REPARENTING MYSELF
#1 – I began paying attention to patterns I struggled to break.
This one is huge for me. Instead of running on autopilot and yelling because I was triggered, then beating myself up for the rest of the day, I began to get curious. I began to dig underneath the yelling and ask where my rage came from. I began to notice the things I unconsciously repeated (this applied not only to parenting, but other areas of my life like how I ate, consumed media, and so on.) Paying attention and cultivating awareness is always the first step in changing our behavior.
#2 – I began to confront childhood wounds I had previously suppressed
I found that when I began to notice patterns, the next step was learning to trace back to the roots of those patterns. Often, that led me to explore my childhood and confront any wounds I had inherited either from various institutions or influential adults or caregivers in my life. Identifying those emotional injuries gave me the opportunity and connect with the Younger Me and be a wise Inner Parent to her.
#3 – I got compassionately curious about my anger
I’ve unpacked this topic in a much more in-depth post here (link to post), but in short, I started befriending my anger. It took me many years to really get that if I wanted to respond to my child’s anger (or whatever intense emotion they were experiencing) with compassion and curiosity, then I needed to learn to respond to my OWN anger in the same way first.
#4 – I began prioritizing more fun in my life!
One of the most powerful healing moments I discovered in reparenting myself was that my worth as a human did not hinge on how much I produced or achieved. Embracing this truth – which is 100 percent counter-cultural from the world we live in – freed up more space, time, and energy for playfulness, creativity, and fun!
#5 – I learned the importance of forgiving myself
Self-forgiveness and self-compassion have been one of the hardest pillars for me to embrace. I was wired to think that berating and punishing myself for mistakes would help me improve. I learned the hard and long way that this simply isn’t true (as much as conventional parenting and much of society would have you believe). Only when I leaned into forgiving myself and embracing my messy, imperfect humanity. After all, if I wanted my children to be tender toward themselves, the best way to teach them was to model what that looked like.
Remember, friends: this is a journey and part of the healing is learning to tune into what you uniquely need, trusting that inner guide, and fine-tuning the steps you take along the way. --First posted on shellyrobinson.com--
This Week on the Podcast: Shelly Robinson, mom of two, founder of Raising Yourself, certified family wellness coach, author of the Rebirth Journal, and creator behind the Connected Collection, a powerful bundle of transformational parenting tools, is our podcast guest this week and will round out Season 2.
She's also a lover of tacos, coffee enthusiast, Enneagram 2, ENFJ, and a neuro-spicy (hello ADHD diagnosis at 43 years old), and homeschooling mama. Her top three values are authenticity, humor, and integrity. Shelly has taken my lived and professional experience as a coach and mother and made it her mission to educate and equip parents with the knowledge, tools, and support they deserve to reparent themselves, break cycles, and better understand the relationship between their childhoods and the way they parent. On this episode, Shelly walks us through the very helpful and necessary idea of having to reparent ourselves as we deconstruct systems that have kept our inner child hidden, voiceless, and often wounded. All the big picture, yet practical tips Shelly has for us on this episode will not only change the way you parent, but the way you treat yourself. This is really big and a whole new way seeing the world and especially the relationships that matter the most to you. You will want to take notes and follow everything Shelly does and get your hands on the resources she has for you. You can find Shelly at the following: Instagram: @raising_yourself Facebook: Shelly Robinson - Raising Yourself Website: shellyrobinson.com Shelly has some incredible products for you. Check them out here: The Connected Kid Collection (launching December 12th) Get the support you deserve with the Connected Collection, a powerful bundle of parenting tools that will give you exactly what you need to cultivate a deeper relationship with yourself and with your child.
50 (physical) Connected Kid conversation cards;
Dozens of online activities to supplement the cards; and
100 page workbook called Reparenting the Younger You
Grow a new way of parenting, cultivate more self-compassion, and relate to yourself and your child in a way that honors both your wholeness and worthiness.
Support Us PLEASE and Join Our Private Facebook Community Don't forget to sign up for our private and exclusive Deconstructing Mamas community on Facebook for those of you who want to move to the next level with us via our PATREON platform.
At this level, for as little as $3, you can ask questions, experience a safe and welcoming community with others who are deconstructing and receive special surprises along the way from Lizz and Esther.
We've been doing this for a couple of months now and it's been more than we could have imagined. We love it there and think you will too! Head to this LINK to sign up!!
We want to say a huge WELCOME to Moriah Jester! She has joined our team here at Deconstructing Mamas and already, we are better because of her. Moriah is a wife to one, a mom to one and lives in the bustling state of Montana (where even is that? LOL). Moriah has a gentle spirit, but she is a hard worker and we really look forward to the help and the goodness that she will be bringing to us and to our community. The really exciting news is that she'll be putting together a big resource list for the New Year, so that you have what you need to be the kind of parent that you want to be for your kiddos.
Here's a fun and very informative Instagram reel to give you just a small taste of what Shelly has for you. And she posts these kinds of things almost every day, so you will always have something positive and helpful to look forward to when you are mindlessly scrolling your phone. These six tips are just what you need to be encouraged and get help with breaking all those toxic and harmful generational cycles that you are working hard to get free from. Shelly (and we) are here cheering you on.
A big thanks to Steven Hause from Love Unrelenting for putting together this piece highlighting Lizz on YouTube! In this interview, Lizz discusses how deconstructing hell has impacted her approach to relationships with other people and, specifically, how she parents her children. WATCH HERE.
One last thing. We want to remind you that we are so glad you are here. We wouldn't be the same without you. You will always find GRACE for where you've been and who you are now, and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be.
Carry on, our new-found friends. Welcome to the twisty-windy, full -of-adventure faith path that's laid out before us all. Love,
Lizz & Esther P.S. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER HERE!