Parenting is a tough job. It is the most important job you will ever do. Blah, blah, blah — you’ve heard it all before. But has anyone ever mentioned your neglected child? You have scorned this little one until she is embarrassed, hurt and lacks self-confidence. She feels unlovable and unaccomplished. You have wished her to act, look like and be more like someone else. You have made her cry.
She is, of course, your inner child. Take a moment to step outside of yourself for just a few moments. Imagine you are the parent of this child. You may never have been a parent, or maybe you hope to be one someday. Imagine you are the parent you would be if you were one.
Now imagine yourself, the parent, speaking to this child in the voice you have used silently with yourself. Picture the child as your younger self. “Oh my God! You look horrible in that!” “I swear I am going to just cut this hair off!” “I can’t believe you are so stupid!” “What made you think you could do that?” “I can’t believe you thought you could talk to that person.” Whatever you have said silently to yourself, imagine saying that out loud to this child.
What do you see on your inner child’s face? What does it make her want to do? How does it make you, as the parent feel? Do you feel abusive? How do you feel toward each other?
Now imagine a different scenario. What would you say to a real child? “We can find something better for you to wear.” “I know your hair can be frustrating, but there are people who would kill for that color!” “I know you will learn from this mistake.” “Try again.” “Sweetie, that person just doesn’t appreciate who you are.”
Now how does the child look? Is she wiping away her tears? Can you give her a mental hug? She needs and deserves one. As the parent do you feel more loving and kind? As you begin to parent your inner child you may see her wings grow strong. Be as loving and kind to her as you have been or would be to your own children. Be gentle and encouraging. Never speak ill of her. Defend her always.
Lovingly bring these two out into the world — the nurturing parent and the child, healing from past neglect. You may find you give more into it and possibly retrieve more as well.
Photos are of me and my mom (1963-1964).
- Loving your Inner Child (boundariesofthesoul.com)
- It’s never too late for your inner child to come out and play (pattidawnswansson.wordpress.com)
- Dear authoritian inner parent (sinofmyheart.wordpress.com)