How to Heal the Child Within

Using Inner Child Therapy to Get Past a Painful Childhood

Child Inside Tree Growth Rings
Justin Lewis / Getty Images

It's interesting how memories of hurtful occasions from our childhoods have a way of resurfacing. When these difficult memories bubble up to the surface, it could mean the time is right for you to heal an open wound and stamp out any residual suffering. Whenever you recall a time when you were sick as a child or if a less than pleasant childhood memory pops into your head, you have the opportunity to mentally or emotionally go back in time and offer some healing.

Use these precious moments to reach out to that inner child of yours and offer a smile, a pat on the head, a big bear hug, or whatever feels right. Now that you are older and wiser, you can be the caring parent your inner child craves. You can be that child's hero now that you've grown big enough to tackle and slay those childhood demons.

Childhood Memories

Perhaps your childhood was a happy one, but as you grew older your heart has hardened or you have lost the spontaneity of youth through the years. Your memories can help pull you back to those happier times. From there you can tap into those wonderful feelings and rejuvenate your spirit. Try to recreate child-like wonder into your day.

The child within not only knows what it needed back then but also knows what you need in the present moment. It could be time to break free from limiting childhood imprinting. Honor that child in you for the baby and adolescent footsteps he or she took leading you into adulthood.

For Parents, Grandparents, and All Child Caregivers

As guardians, it is good to keep in mind that our young charges can be easily influenced and wounded by our words and actions. There are cases of child abuse that are extreme and horrifying. But, it is important to realize children may harbor the smallest stings or insults and carry into their adult lives.

Every person has been inflicted with unintentional wounds during their childhood, not from strangers, but from adults who they trust (such as parents, grandparents, and teachers) to care for them and look out for their best interests.

A mature adult will recognize wounds that were inflicted without intention or understand that the parent or caregiver was doing their very best they could at that period of time. Still, these wounds hurt and can stunt or cast a shadow on person's ability to heal or move forward. Inner child therapy can help sort out those bad feelings and soothe any lingering hurt adults are bearing.

Dragging your parents into therapy may not give you any peace or resolution, but with some work and introspection, it is absolutely possible to learn how to nurture your inner child on your own.