Soothing Your Inner Child

All of us have an inner child within us that is deserving of joy and unconditional love. It is the part of ourselves that we have to continue to nurture and feed with kind words. The concept of the inner child is said to have been popularised by Carl Jung when he talked about the “divine child archetype.” 

The method of “parenting” your inner child in therapy was created by Lucia Capacchione in 1976 and documented in her book Recovery of Your Inner Child. One of the ultimate goals of therapy is to effectively parent your inner child and love them unconditionally. Unconditional love is easier said than done. Depending on the environment that we grow up in, our parent’s voice often becomes our inner dialogue as adults. If you grew up in an environment where your parents were critical of you, chances are that you’re putting that internal pressure on your inner child as an adult. An example of this is giving yourself a hard time and unconsciously punishing yourself for messing up on a test. 

Taking a step back and reflecting on my own life has led me to see how I am very critical of my inner child. Rarely do I congratulate her for still keeping the wonder and joy alive in me. Working with children has changed my perspective as when children mess up, we understand as adults that they are still learning and making mistakes is a part of the process. Thus, we are kinder to children and do not get frustrated when they mess up. In a similar way, when we fail or stumble, we sometimes have to hold our own hand or look and ourselves and say - “Hey, it okay. I know that you tried and the sun will rise again.” Another instance where parenting is required is when we go through something traumatic. A large part of the healing process is being able to soothe our wounds from within. Traumatic incidents often leave our inner child feeling vulnerable and scared. Healing our inner child will help us change the script of sometimes blaming ourselves as we would look at the situation from a more empathetic point of view. 

Related: The Best Adult Coloring Books for Your Inner Child

Via Giphy

Now that we’ve talked about the importance of loving your inner child, it is essential to nurture them in different ways. Nurturing your inner child could look like writing them letters or getting ice cream. Blowing bubbles and letting yourself be silly is also a good time. Complimenting yourself and recognising you’re achievements is another big one. Being kind in the form of using kind words and soothing yourself is another way. Nurturing your inner child could also look like eating your vegetables, making a doctors appointment when you’re sick or asking for help when you need it. 

At the end of the day, we’re adults and have multiple responsibilities that require us to be mature and professional. However, take time to have fun, be silly and unconditionally love your inner child. Because they are so deserving of love and all things good.