ACA Netherlands

The ACA solution is to become your own loving parent.

ACA’s: “Loving Parent or reparenting?”
What is a Loving Parent or reparenting? What Does It Mean to Become Your Own Loving Parent?

Most people arrive at ACA with a critical inner voice. Some of us call this voice a Critical Parent. By becoming our own Loving Parent, we begin to take better care of ourselves. By learning the true qualities of a Loving Parent or reparenting, we recognize that the care we received from our biological parents was not healthy love. By reparenting ourselves, we accept that we have positive qualities. We stop the critical self-talk through affirmations and journaling. We learn to parent ourselves with a more loving voice inside. We realize we have something to offer to our ACA support group and to society.

The Loving Parent is the inner parent we can develop from the part of us that took action to care for ourselves as children and can be awakened in recovery. The first step in reparenting ourselves involves recognizing the loving voice inside. Our experience that shows that every adult child has love inside regardless of what the person says or believes. Love is there and it is original.

From the ACA Fellowship text book -‘Big Red Book’.
© Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organisation

ACA: “Our Loving Parent/reparenting reading”
As we awaken the Loving Parent inside, we remember a simple slogan: “First Things First.” Many adult children rush into Inner Child work without taking time to meet their inner, caring parent. As a result, some of us will struggle with finding the Inner Child until we take this necessary step. The Inner Child will not usually emerge until we establish our Loving Parent. In some cases, a sabotaging aspect of the Inner Child will emerge if we rush this phase of our recovery. This angry aspect of the Inner Child can overpower the newly developing Loving Parent and delay recovery.

We awaken the Loving Parent inside by actively listening to what we tell ourselves about ourselves. We stop in mid-sentence if we are putting ourselves down or criticizing our thoughts or behaviors. We identify the source of the negativity which is the inner critic inside all adult children. We face this critical voice with affirmations that state who we truly are. Through reparenting ourselves, we reframe our mistakes as chances to learn or grow emotionally. This is a sign of becoming our own Loving Parent.

Another way in which we can become our own Loving Parent is to realize that we will not recover overnight. ACA recovery takes time. Even when we attend meetings, work the Steps, and use the telephone, we can still struggle at times. ACA is simple, but it takes a balanced effort and patience at times to make it through. We can do everything right and still wonder if we are making progress. A Loving Parent inside reminds us that we are good enough and that we are making progress. In ACA we become willing to apply what we learn in the program to our daily lives and to relationships. We must be willing to apply the principles of the Steps and to reparent ourselves if we want to change. Our principles of the Steps are:
Step 1: Powerlessness and Surrender
Step 2: Openmindedness and Clarity
Step 3: Willingness and Accepting Help
Step 4: Self-honesty and Courage
Step 5: Honesty and Trust
Step 6: Willingness
Step 7: Humility
Step 8: Willingness and Self-forgiveness
Step 9: Forgiveness and Courage
Step 10: Honesty and Discernment
Step 11: Seeking and Listening
Step 12: Love and Self-love

By reparenting ourselves, we can further remove the “buttons” that have been pushed by others to manipulate us or to get a reaction out of us. Through a Loving Parent inside, we gain greater independence from codependence. We find the skills to support our need to become independent people. We intuitively know what we need and what we can live without. We will learn to act as an actor to people, places, things and circumstances. We learn to truly see, listen and understand the present moment, the point between past and future. We learn to live and let live.

From the ACA Fellowship text book -‘Big Red Book’.
© Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organisation