Q. I know some of my behaviors come from family “scripts,” as you call them, and I am addressing that. Recently I heard you use the term “reparenting.” How can I do that?

A. No one reaches adulthood without experiencing some dysfunction and loss because no one experiences an entirely functional family and social system. No one had role models who were completely actualized and differentiated. Your parents and caregivers undoubtedly did the best they could at the time with what they knew. Most people do—so this concept has nothing to do with blaming (yourself or others). This does mean, generally, that you have some belief and/or behavioral area(s) in which you can make improvements. These improvements can help you develop and mature in positive ways.

If you were blessed with excellent role models (too which you paid close attention), you can continue the process of development and maturation. If you didn’t, you can reparent yourself. What does the term reparenting embrace? Think of it as the act of caring for you in the manner of a genuinely wise and functional parent. You learn to treat you as you would have liked to be treated had you been fortunate enough to have had wise and functional role models in all areas of life.

Think of reparenting as helping you to:

  • Complete necessary developmental tasks of childhood
  • Increase your emotional intelligence
  • Exhibit an affirming communication style
  • Identify and grieve losses appropriately and effectively
  • Learn who you are innately and live your unique giftedness
  • And so on....