Amanda Gregory, LCPC, EMDR

“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Do you remember the child that you used to be? I hope that you do. But if you don’t, that kid hasn’t left you. Your inner child lives inside you and needs to be acknowledged and nourished. Some people have a strong connection to their inner child, while others might feel more distant from them. Some adults might believe that connecting with their inner child would make them act childishly or immaturely. Childhood trauma can also cause people to feel detached from their inner child. Yet, connecting to your inner child can have a positive impact on your emotional health and relationships. Try these 5 methods to connect with your inner child.

Visualize the Child. You might be better able to connect with your inner child if you’re able to see them in your mind. Try these techniques to create a visual of this child:

  • Gather your favorite pictures of you as a prepubescent child. If possible, choose pictures that best represent your personality as a child.
  • Ask those who knew you as a child to describe what you looked like, what you sounded like, the phrases you spoke, the actions you took, etc.
  • Watch videos of you as a child if you have access to them.

Revisit Childhood Activities. What activities did you enjoy when you were a prepubescent child? Participate in a childhood activity to see whether it’s still enjoyable. If it’s still enjoyable today, you should engage in this activity regularly. Here a few questions to consider to help you identify childhood activities:

  • What was your favorite TV show or movie? Watch it again.
  • What was your favorite sport to play? Join a league/team or play solo.
  • What was your favorite game? Purchase this game and play it with friends.
  • Did you collect anything? Look over your collection if you still have it or start a new collection.
  • What was your favorite art or craft activity? Get supplies and complete a project.

Be Silly. There is a difference between acting childishly and being silly. Adults can engage in silliness while still acting as adults. You can embrace the silliness of your inner child within an adult world. Here are a few ideas:

  • Play a joke on a friend.
  • Dance or sing in public.
  • Wear a fun or unique clothing item.
  • Play an imaginative game with a child.
  • Engage in a conversation with an animal.

Get Moving. Children usually prefer to be moving, while some adults prefer to be more sedentary. Try moving around to connect with your inner child. Here are a few options:

  • If you have a swivel chair at work, take a spin.
  • Skip/Run/Jump.
  • Create a silly walk.
  • Snap your fingers/Tap your Toes/Drum on your thighs.
  • When talking, using your hands expressively.

Parent the Child. One of the best ways to connect with your inner child is to provide them with much needed parenting. This helps your inner child feel safe, loved, and nurtured. This will also help you to function as an adult. Here are few parenting methods:

  • Establish a bedtime.
  • Give yourself rewards and incentives when work or tasks are completed.
  • Schedule time for play.
  • Provide healthy food options.
  • Establish realistic expectations for yourself.
  • Get rest when you’re feeling ill or fatigued.
  • Consistently encourage and praise yourself.

Are you having trouble connecting with your inner child? There are many reasons why doing so might be difficult. If you’d like help connecting with your inner child, you could benefit from participating in therapy. Symmetry Counseling provides individual and EMDR therapy, which could help you achieve a better connection with your inner child. Contact Symmetry Counseling today to schedule an appointment.