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Learning to Love the Inner Child in Us All

It is common for us to want our children to love and accept themselves, we want our friends to love and accept themselves. Yet, it seems so difficult for some people to release judgment and nurture kindness toward their own selves. Learning to love the inner child within us all is a growing movement that provide the opportunity for self-love and self-acceptance. You may be asking, "What is an 'Inner Child."


Many give Carl Jung credence around the phenomenon surrounding Inner Child work with its development recorded as early as the 1940's. He coined the term Archetypes, which describe the correspondence between early childhood experiences, experiences in the outside world, and how we formulate our view in relation to such. Many other theorists connect their approaches to encompass similar ideologies around what has happened to an individual from both the micro and macro levels. Attachment Theorists explain this process as emotional wounds of unmet wants and needs derived in our early childhood experiences that form our sense of self. Chronic attachment wounds in our early developmental experiences have a potential to create low and negative few of the Self and world around us.


Signs Your Inner Child May be Wounded:

  • Insecure sense of self

  • Needs external validation

  • Looks for the negative

  • Constantly feeling "sorry" or "bad"

  • Difficulty trusting

  • Fearing abandonment and/or neglect

  • Feeling intense loneliness and isolation

  • Difficulty regulating emotions and having strong emotional responses.





This can look different to everyone and can be difficult to recognize. Identifying and recognizing these patterns without judgement can be helpful and nurturing to the very human responses to what has happened to an someone, rather than the previous projections of what is wrong with a person.


Statements Your Inner Child Might Want to Hear:

  • You are worthy of everything good..

  • You are beautiful..

  • You are worthy of protection..

  • I See You and I Hear You..

  • It is okay to cry..

  • Your emotions are valid..

Healing through reparenting means to give oneself what was needed when we were children, but never got. This could be individualized to unmet needs of an individual and does not mean this due to conscious negligence. Rather is most often due to predispositions of unmet needs from generations before. We can only do what we know, and this forces us to learn so we can do differently. This is a process that can break generational trauma surrounding unmet needs and the normalcies around such. We can realize, acknowledge, and accept that our parents did their best according to their levels of awareness. With such, we let go of residual blame, or anger against them. Yet, the scars and hurt can still remain. Nurturing our inner child can help heal these wounds.


Journaling can be a helpful tool to connecting and healing wounds from early childhood experiences. Some journal prompts can be found below:

  1. What did you love to do as a child?

  2. What would you say to yourself as a child if they were reading a letter from you?

  3. I feel good about myself when... (reflect and explore a number of scenarios)

  4. What can you start doing today that would make your younger self proud?



Next time you feel urged to judge, shame, or feel hatred towards your body, your Self, or your growth; imagine your child self-expressing these negative, intrusive thoughts about themself. What would you say to younger you? How can you comfort younger you the way they both wanted and needed it? Now say those things to yourself and show some compassion.

Unlearning and relearning how to love yourself is not an easy task. Finding a therapist can be helpful to aid as a support in this process. Our Intake Coordinator is trained and eager to connect you with a therapist that is a good fit for your needs.













Sjöblom, M., Öhrling, K., Prellwitz, M., & Kostenius, C. (2016). Health throughout the lifespan: The phenomenon of the inner child reflected in events during childhood experienced by older persons. International journal of qualitative studies on health and well-being, 11, 31486. https://doi.org/10.3402/qhw.v11.31486

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