If you’re struggling to be the parent you want to be to your child, it could be that your unmet childhood needs are getting in the way, Dr. Julie Hanks from Wasatch Family Therapy tells us.

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.

Upcoming event: Virtual Q&A: Reparenting Yourself: Grieving Unmet Childhood Needs 
DATE: Wed. Jan. 6 
TIME 7PM – 8:00PM MST $30 per person
REGISTER HERE https://event.webinarjam.com/register/21/37ok3f1*If you can’t make the live event you will be able to submit a question and receive a recording of the event to view at your convenience. For this event you will submit your question about healing childhood wounds and grieving unmet needs ahead of time (at the end of your registration), and Dr. Julie will answer the submitted questions live in a webinar format. There is also an opportunity to ask questions live via the chat during the event.


Deena Manzanares
Deena Marie Manzanares is a Utah native, but lived in NYC for a few years while attending the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. Locally, she has worked as a professional actor for years in both stage and film.