so you’re interested in becoming friends with your inner child…
Keeping our inner child alive can allow us to exercise creativity, unlock a forgotten hobby, and even help us to reevaluate some of the habits we’ve formed.
First and foremost, it’s important to begin this journey with some inner reflection. As you’ll be diving into earlier parts of your life as a time capsule, you should be prepared to confront the good (and the bad) of your childhood memories. In revisiting these memories, it would be good to help guide your exploration with some guiding questions:
- What experiences are you trying to gain by reconnecting with your inner child?
- What are you excited to rediscover? Do you want to rediscover your creative side? Your curiosity? Your love for science? Start with thinking about what brought you the most joy.
- What are you nervous to rediscover? Pinpoint 5 strong, happy memories that remind you that you’re loved and appreciated. Use these to ground yourself during tough moments.
- When do you notice your ego taking over? You might feel insecure, restless, or start comparing your journey to your peers. Try to pinpoint ways in which you can work through these thoughts.
- Allow yourself space for forgiveness. By opening yourself up to see your inner child, you can start to work towards healing some experiences you might’ve repressed along the way.
- Read your favorite books as a kid
- Read your old essays from school and journals
- Revisit your favorite cartoons and movies
- Frame and hang up an old drawing or poster
- Keep a picture of yourself from a happy memory of childhood or adolescence where you can see it every day
- Spend an afternoon looking through old photo scrapbooks
- Bake your favorite cookies or dessert from when you were younger
- Ask your parent for a recipe of a family dish you used to eat
- Wrap yourself up in a favorite blanket
- Play with old toys or puzzles- or buy yourself the toy you always wanted!
- Have a crafts afternoon
- Revisit an old hobby
- Draw on the sidewalk with chalk
- Listen to songs you used to be obsessed with from different periods of your life
- Listen to guided meditations in order to focus or ground yourself before an activity
- Sit with the sounds of nature- search for familiar sounds on Youtube or Spotify. For example, if you grew up with a creek running behind your backyard as a kid, search for creek or river flowing soundscapes.
- Ask your family members to share stories from when you were younger
Here are some journaling prompts so you can process your exploration and continue to strengthen the presence of your inner child:
- How can I, as an adult, care for my inner child? Are there any affirmations I can say to show myself love?
- Write a letter to your younger self with the words you wish you’d heard from the adults in your life. Validation is important for healing our wounds.
- Did I learn something new about myself during this exploration?
- How can I cultivate these good feelings moving forward?
- Are there any generational trauma cycles that I should keep in mind?
- What memories do I hold nearest to my heart- why?
- What parts of my younger self do I want to carry into my life today? Is it a sense of curiosity, play, joy?
- What parts of my younger self am I thankful to leave behind? Extend gratitude towards your independence in adulthood.
Have fun exploring!