Have you ever had thoughts that seem childish, even though you’re a full-fledged adult? Perhaps you find yourself whining that you don’t have enough money to buy something you really want. Or you feel overtired and all you want to do is take a nap. Maybe you are still needy, dependent, or otherwise expectant that others around you will take care of you. But, it could be that there are some important things you need to say to your inner child.

The plain truth is that everyone has an inner child, or a part of your personality that still acts, thinks, feels, and behaves as a child might. Not everyone is in touch with their inner child, but if you are, just know that you’re not alone. Yours might be healthy and happy. Or, it could be wounded from a problem that occurred during your childhood. Whether you’re dealing with a needy inner child or a damaged one, you need to learn to listen to, accept, and connect with the child within to move forward with the thoughts or feelings you’re having.  

Here are a few things to say to your inner child:

  1. I see you. 

    This is more metaphorical than literal, but it’s important you see it inside you and acknowledge its presence. Your inner child is part of who you are and what makes you you. Don’t disregard the child-like voice, thoughts, or feelings you might have internally. Notice them, see them, and let yourself know.

  2. I hear you.

    When you’re hearing that voice in your head upset about something that happened a long time ago or just the other day, the best thing you can do for yourself is acknowledge what that voice is saying. Calm the voice down by hearing what it’s saying. When you hear thoughts like, “it hurts” or “I’m sad” try saying things to yourself like “it’s all going to be okay” or “I hear you and we’re going to work through this”.

  3. I’m sorry.

    Consider the possibility that you’ve been pushing yourself too hard as an adult. You only just transitioned into your twenties. You’re still getting the hang of everything and maybe you need a minute to catch your breath. Apologize to yourself for overworking and move on. Sometimes your inner child needs a break and is crying out as a warning signal to your brain to slow down. Listen to that voice in your head and change pace.

  4. You deserved better.

    If you’re carrying around wounds from an unfair, unfit, or otherwise difficult childhood, maybe your inner child needs to know it deserved better. Remind yourself that whatever happened back then, you deserved better. It shouldn’t have happened the way it did, whatever it was.

  5. I love you.

    Maybe you never heard those words enough as a child. Maybe you heard them, but didn’t feel the weight they carried. Tell the child within that you love it. You need to love yourself from within. Self-love is a powerful thing and it has the potential to overwhelm you in the best ways. Love your inner child and love yourself. The only person you know you can count on, without a doubt, in life is you. 

The next time your inner child whines, cries out, or seems to be in need of a little attention, try using some of these helpful tips. Remember, this only scratches the surface of the inner child concept. And if you’re dealing with some serious damage or wounds, try working with a therapist. Therapy can prove to be incredibly helpful and could aid you in finding the root of the pain you might be feeling. At the end of the day, listen to your inner child and don’t push it away. Accept and connect with your inner child to live a more successful life.

READ MORE  My Anxiety Story and How I Grew Because of It