Kindness For Your Inner Child
Many parents know those moments where they stand in front of their child who is misbehaving in one way or another and they can’t help but draw comparison to how they wouldn’t have dared to behave in a similar way as a child. In fact they wouldn’t let themselves behave that way today! They have learnt not to let their feelings get that big. Not too much sadness, anger or happiness because it may loss them the approval of those they love, be inconvenient to someone else or even worse could put them in danger. These moments are uncomfortable and can be confronting when we bump into the wounds of our own inner child.
Inner child wounds can include things from high levels of self-criticism, you identify with titles such as people-pleaser or empath, you find yourself often in conflict with others, perfectionism takes over, you have a fear of abandonment and more. Sometimes it’s obvious and other times it is not so, but these wounds can impact our parenting style in surprising ways. Snapping at that mess they are making, saying no to learning to roller skate with them, feeling as though you can never say no or feeling difficulty in showing up for your children emotionally when they need you. Unfortunately, as human beings none of us make it through this journey without a few hurts of our own no matter how hard our own parents may have tried to protect us. As adults it is part of our job to look back at that small child version of ourselves with gentleness and curiosity and ask what they may need?
What did you need someone to show up and tell you or do for you when you were 3, 6, 10, 17 or 20?
If you went back in time and met little you, would you be the type of adult now who could offer this?
Are you still living in line with rules that helped you navigate your world as a child but don’t serve you or your family today?
If you feel like based on this that potentially your inner child may have some unmet needs there are many quick and easy things you can introduce to your days to nurture them.
- Music: Sing, dance, curate a playlist for your mood, find your theme song for your life story.
- Get Messy: Paint, bake, mould clay, make slime or play dough or have your own princess diaries paint dart moment.
- Nature: Go for a walk, take your shoes off outside, go climb something, explore a new area in your neighbourhood, go on a picnic, star gaze.
- Write: Write a story for your kids about your childhood, write a letter to your younger self.
- Watch: Rewatch your favourite childhood movie or take yourself to see a new kids release.
- Learn: Take on something new, step out of routine, go back to an abandoned childhood passion or dream.
- Say Yes: if it seems fun and won’t cause harm let yourself say yes to your wants and needs.
- Play: Blow bubbles, dress up, buy the novelty item, or do anything just because it’s fun.
Taking care of our inner child creates space in the world for our children to be themselves and for us to recognise without judgement both theirs and our own needs.