United Front: Reparenting Course
Reparenting Overview & Background
Why reparent your headmates?
System kids can be very powerful influences. Like external kids, they need capable adult intervention to help them regulate their emotions, to learn appropriate boundaries, and assistance to craft who they are & who they’re becoming. System kids develop as they adopt and adhere to their own morals and ethics, and align their individual internal compass for what is right and wrong. System kids also need to feel good about themselves: valid, lovable, like they have a place in the world, etc. Younger system kids, just like younger external kids, need to feel like they’re a high priority of someone else’s world, until they’re able to center themselves for themselves.
Unfortunately for these inner kids, they’re in line for a do-over. For most system kids, things went wrong the first time around, and they have become stuck, often in the catch-22 of PTSD flashback loops, or being triggered by external and internal circumstances in their system. In the process of doing it over, and this may not be the first do-over either, retraumatization is a big risk factor. It’s really difficult for traumatized system kids to learn to trust, to take a chance, and really allow their needs to be fully met.
These system kids sometimes need parenting so much they will attach to external folk to try to get their needs met. They may do so directly, or through passive influence on the host — and it comes off as clinginess, panic attacks, separation anxiety, resenting a partner going to work, crisis issues when a therapist has vacations or unexpected cancellations, being unable to spend adult time alone with your partner(s), in-system leaking anxieties & insecurities, etc.
Children don’t schedule when they need attention. And younger system kids, such as preschoolers, toddlers and infants, need constant attention. And their needs can be so compelling that it interferes with other needs, such as the need to make progress in therapy, or to spend time with a spouse as their spouse.
Our suggestion is to begin to structure your& internal community to center the needs of these children and address them internally. Of course, how to do so is going to vary from system-to-system, and sometimes it may not be possible to do all of the system reparenting internally — but it’s a decent goal, and one worth making progress towards even if there’s an overlap where caring for system kids is a hybrid collaborative effort between internal folk and external folk.
How do you do so? What steps are there to start transitioning? How do you learn to be a capable and confident carer for your internal children?
This course will help get you started, and help you develop a strategy to help your system kids, learn to be better carers, and identify and address your system kids’ most compelling needs.
Who is this course for?
This course is for systems whose inner kids are acting out, upset, shamed, abandoned, angry, lost, stuck, suffering, dispirited, crushed, despondent, frightened, insecure, etc. Whether system kids are disrupting front frequently, or at inappropriate times (such as at work), or there are background traumaholders leaking emotions, anxieties, and panic reactions throughout your system, there are many reasons for reparenting system kids internally.
Note, this doesn’t only apply to system kids. It can apply to anyone in your system who can use reparenting: middles, teens, adults in the system who have a deep fear of abandonment, insecurities, separation anxiety, etc. can also use reparenting. Our main focus will be talking about system kids — but we also cover reparenting for middles, teens & bigs too.
This course is for systems ready & willing to consider internally reparenting their own system kids. This course is also for plural & DID systems who didn’t have good parenting role-models the first time around, since good parenting role-models are difficult to find, and we need some hand-holding and information to become better parents.
This is potentially subject to change: see the curriculum outline also, but note that it’s being worked on and tweaked up until when the course runs. This is the general course outline from the initial pilot.
Week 1 — Trust & Communication
Week 2 — Compassion, Love & Caring
Week 3 — Creating a Space & Engaging with kids
Week 4 — Kids & Adults – Ages & Stages
Week 5 — Aging Up & Getting Unstuck
Week 6 — Wrap-Up & Open Discussion
The initial offering was going to include more information on Rescue Missions. It became evident it was a big enough topic to break off into its own course. See Search & Rescue as a follow-up after this course. During this course, work on creating a safe place and appropriate supports for your& current system kids — then learn how to rescue others and this is also preparation for new child traumaholders. If you did rescues first, that’s OK, too. We may consider making this a prerequisite course before Search & Rescue in the future or at least suggest it.
These will be assigned during the course, but you can take advantage of them before the course as well. See also our Building a Reparenting-Focused Community conference session on YouTube, our Reparenting & Selves Reliance Podcast episode, our Kinhost wiki article on Re-parenting for more information.