Being a Caring Parent to Your Inner Child

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Desy, Phylameana lila. "Being a Caring Parent to Your Inner Child." ThoughtCo, Aug. 6, 2017, thoughtco.com/nurture-your-inner-child-1730495. Desy, Phylameana lila. (2017, August 6). Being a Caring Parent to Your Inner Child. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/nurture-your-inner-child-1730495 Desy, Phylameana lila. "Being a Caring Parent to Your Inner Child." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/nurture-your-inner-child-1730495 (accessed September 22, 2017).
Mother and Daughter
Parenting Your Inner Child. Cary Jobe / Getty Images

Getting in touch with our inner children is not always easy. At first, it might seem that they just want to cry, but this is natural. The parts of us that were split off at a young age had to go away for good reasons, including abuse, fear, neglect, and misunderstanding. These young parts of us were not allowed to express their overwhelming feelings, so they took the feelings away with them.

When we invite these lost inner children back into our lives, we have to be ready for them to express a lot of distress.

Parenting Your Inner Children

It is a process to soothe the inner child, and it won’t get done all at once. Learning how to parent your own particular inner children takes time, and they will teach you what they need as time goes on. It is important to be just as patient as if you had adopted a real child with a troubled background.

Take the feelings that come with soothing the inner child seriously. Soothing the child in this scenario does not mean coddling them and telling them to stop crying, as one may have experienced in the past. Now, the mission is to be a different kind of parent, one who really listens to the child’s feelings. The first part of soothing is to hear the feelings. The child might not be able to tell you why she or he feels sad, angry, or scared. The focus is to pay attention to the feelings.

Find a safe and quiet place to sit down and listen. Let the feelings emerge. Accept all of them, even though it is painful.

If the feelings are unbearable all at once, tell the child that you will listen to them for ten, five, or two minutes. Then, promise the child to make another time to sit down later and listen some more.

How to Soothe the Inner Child

Here’s where the soothing comes in:

  1. Value all those difficult feelings and validate them.
  1. Let your body express the love you have for this child by holding a pillow or stuffed animal, rocking, humming, stroking, and otherwise doing anything you’d do to comfort an actual child.
  2. Trust your instincts on this. Let the child tell you what feels good to her or him.
  3. Don’t let any critical voices come in. For example, don't let them tell you that it’s silly to rock and hum a lullaby. It’s not silly—it is a valuable practice in loving yourself.

Practice this over and over as your inner child gradually learns to trust you. Over time, you will learn to be the caring parent that this child never had and will share your future with the wonderful, free, and loving spirit that is your inner child.

How Judith Soothes Her Inner Child

A reader shares how her inner child teaches her how to express grief, loss, and fears:

"One of the ways I practice loving my inner children is inventorying my childhood, which gives her an opportunity to feel and express her grief, loss, and fears. Doing mirror work invited her to share herself with me. It is quite powerful to see her pain and to witness her energy bursting forth from me. I recently bought a rocking chair at her suggestion. I sit in it and rock and look up at the sky since she had me put it on my porch outside. She comes up a lot when I play, especially if she might look foolish as she did as a child. I listen to her, witness her fear and pain, and we go back to playing together with a healthier energy. I am doing breathing exercises by Deborah Blair and EFT with Brad Yates, which help facilitate a connection with all my inner children. They help give me the grace and strength I need to be a loving witness to them all. Watching movies can bring up emotion and that is another way I connect with them and allow them to express." Judith

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Your Citation
Desy, Phylameana lila. "Being a Caring Parent to Your Inner Child." ThoughtCo, Aug. 6, 2017, thoughtco.com/nurture-your-inner-child-1730495. Desy, Phylameana lila. (2017, August 6). Being a Caring Parent to Your Inner Child. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/nurture-your-inner-child-1730495 Desy, Phylameana lila. "Being a Caring Parent to Your Inner Child." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/nurture-your-inner-child-1730495 (accessed September 22, 2017).