Self-parenting is a type of focused care that involves healthy living patterns and positive daily habits.
Although it keeps you focused on what’s essential for healthy well-being, like sleep, nourishment, key relationships, and security, it also goes a step further.
At its core, self-parenting is about fulfilling unmet needs lingering from your childhood.
It’s also a great way to take charge of your inner critic, which you’ve probably listened to for so long that you believe it’s your own, but it isn’t.
Self-parenting is a way to listen more intentionally to your emotions and thoughts – to take yourself seriously. It helps you become more compassionate toward who you are and allows you to feel worthy and seen because you realize that you matter.
Sometimes, we live our whole life longing for approval – that we matter. It’s a beautiful day when you realize you can give this to yourself. Self-parenting is an internalized authoritative voice that can work wonders for your life.
5 Self-Parenting Tips
Self-parenting is similar to how you might parent your own children. Here are some ways to embrace your inner parent.
Accept Your Emotions
Emotions you resist persist. Accepting an emotion, especially a negative one, weakens its power over you. Accepting an emotion doesn’t mean you’re okay with the situation, it just means you acknowledge that it exists.
Feelings help us define what’s happening so we can articulate our thoughts and act accordingly.
Most kids aren’t taught how to process big, powerful feelings, which means they’ll have trouble with emotional mastery as adults.
This is where self-parenting can really help.
Tell yourself it’s okay to have feelings, whether positive or negative, good or “bad;” don’t judge the emotion.
It’s so easy to feel guilty, ashamed, or unworthy when judging emotions.
Acknowledging and accepting the emotion puts enough space between you and the feeling for you to evaluate it objectively instead of being controlled by it.
Understanding what’s happening, what you’re going through, and why it’s happening helps you to move forward. Besides, it’s what grown-ups do.
Set Definite Boundaries
Clearly define what you expect from life, yourself, and your marriage. And set definite boundaries to protect your vision.
Healthy adults set boundaries and assert their needs.
Emotionally unhealthy adults put everyone’s needs before their own to gain approval and avoid rejection.
However, boundaries are empowering. And if people don’t respect your boundaries, sooner or later, they’ll disrespect you, and perhaps they shouldn’t have the privilege of being in your life.
Just know this: you’ll survive and become stronger and more confident, even if you have to say “goodbye” to certain people.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Take charge of your life, work, and marriage by writing realistic goals for the year ahead. Where do you want to be this time next year?
Start with long-term goals, then organize them into monthly, weekly, and daily objectives that you can easily tackle to make progress and enjoy a sense of accomplishment. This is a great way to overcome feelings of helplessness, too.
Be proud of your commitment and the person you’re becoming as you do the work every day, even if others in your life belittle or diminish your efforts. Don’t let negative people and their small opinions have a controlling influence on your life!
Reward yourself each time you accomplish something.
Set new goals after achieving your original ones to keep growing personally, professionally, spiritually, and relationally because goals are more about becoming than reaching a destination.
Routine is your friend. Your life will never change until you change how you live your day.
Knowing that you’ll be doing certain things at certain times is one of the best self-parenting techniques ever!
A routine prepares you for what’s coming, teaching you responsibility, leadership, and discipline.
A great routine to implement as soon as possible is setting a time to go to bed each night with a pre-bedtime ritual to relax and unwind that prepares your mind and body for sleep.
Dim the lights 30–60 minutes before bedtime, adjust the temperature, put on some cozy sleepwear, and start turning off screens. You can also play some soft music to ease you into sleep mode and soothe your mind.
Define Your Core Values
What do you stand for and against? What have you been putting up with in your life and marriage that you shouldn’t have been?
Do you know your core values, standards, and beliefs?
Adults from neglectful homes are often not taught morals when they were children. So, as you self-parent, it’s up to you to determine your morals, values, beliefs, and standards. A great starting place is the Bible.
It’s easy to allow yourself to be disrespected and let people walk all over you when you lack self-respect.
Self-parenting helps you learn the importance of self-respect – of being true to yourself and trustworthy to yourself and others. The best way to become this kind of person is to define your core values.
It’s never too late to start living as if YOUR life matters because it absolutely does.
Become a high-quality person and spouse of value and respect this year by defining your core values, celebrating the liberating power of routine, setting reasonable expectations and definite boundaries to protect what matters most to you, and accepting your emotions instead of beating yourself up with negative self-talk.
Use these self-parenting tips to design where you want to be this time next year in your life and marriage.