As Parents We Must Also Bring Out Our Inner Child

Bringing out our inner child when we become parents is important for both ourselves and our children. Find out why in the following article.
As Parents We Must Also Bring Out Our Inner Child
Sharon Capeluto

Written and verified by the psychologist Sharon Capeluto.

Last update: 05 June, 2023

All parents carry within them the inner child they once were. There live their childhood pains and wounds, but also the optimism and the desire to play that are typical of childhood. It’s an essential part of themselves that says a lot about their current personality and how they relate to others.

In this article, we’ll talk about why it’s so important to recover some of the qualities we had as children once we become parents.

Why should parents keep their inner child in mind?

According to the integrative therapy known as Gestalt, the inner child is the most vulnerable and sensitive psychological structure of each person. It brings together childhood experiences, as well as the qualities that possibly characterized us at that time, such as innocence, imagination, curiosity, playfulness. and vitality.

We all carry it within us, although there are people who are more connected to their inner child than others. Some believe (consciously or unconsciously) that once we become parents, we must assume adulthood more than ever. While it’s true that responsibility must be present, that doesn’t mean we have to hide our inner child.

On the contrary, there are many reasons why it’s important to keep it present. Below, we’ll talk about some of them.

1. It prevents them from projecting their fears and wounds

Having the inner child present gives us the possibility to heal it, whether we’re parents or not. This inner aspect also includes the wounds, traumas, or conflicts that weren’t resolved at the right time. For this reason, working on healing is essential to avoid projecting on our children the wounds of childhood that have remained unresolved.

2. It helps to generate a good bond with the children

Bringing out the child that we carry inside can also be very positive to enrich us with its qualities. One of the great values present in most children is the ability and eagerness to play.

A good parent-child bond is built. To tell the truth, trust isn’t born overnight. The first thing that allows us to connect with our children is playing with them. In order to generate a close and satisfying relationship, we need to create shared spaces.

Considering that playing is one of the main occupations of children, what better than to get involved in their play?

3. It encourages prosocial behaviors

At the same time, recovering childhood enthusiasm is positive to optimize the process of prosocial behaviors and the general development of children. It’s not a matter of catching up with them, but of being able, at times, to put aside the seriousness and rigidity that characterizes many adults.

As suggested by an essay conducted at the Universidad Iberoamericana de Puebla, parents or caregivers of children occupy a significant role as mediators in the acquisition of the ability to play, from which a good dose of prosocial behaviors is derived. For example:

  • Sharing with others
  • Being empathetic and respectful
  • Being supportive and companionable
  • Self-regulate emotions
  • Acquire communication skills
  • Acquire tools to resolve conflicts

4. It promotes moments of enjoyment

Often, responsibilities seem to distance us from moments of enjoyment and even make us believe that fun is a thing of the past–as if playing were only a child’s pleasure.

It’s important to keep in mind that children with curious, vital, and spontaneous parents have a very different outlook on life than children with caregivers who are overwhelmed by adult monotony. In this regard, bringing out the inner child can be a more than positive means to transmit the importance of exploring and having a good time.

When and when not to bring out your inner child

There are times when it’s better for parents not to let themselves be carried away by their inner child. It’s clear that parenting involves a lot of maturity, wisdom, and responsibility. Although parenting can be fun at times, it must also include seriousness and firmness.

So, it’s important to differentiate when it’s appropriate to give free rein to the innocence and curiosity that we all carry inside and when not to. For example, when it comes to setting limits, marking inappropriate behavior, or having a difficult conversation with our children, it’s essential to assume a mature and prudent posture.

Awakening the inner child is positive for parents and children

Family activities are important for the whole family, not just for the children. For parents, recovering their inner child would allow them to obtain important benefits, besides fostering a good bond with their children, as they’d recover their dazzling and curious outlook.

Also, it would make them remember the value of enjoyment in the little things of life, whether sharing a bike ride, playing tag, or drawing.

In turn, children could benefit from having parents who stimulate them with playful materials and who share with them some moments of play. In short, having your inner child present will allow you to live in a more intense and exciting way, while offering your children emotional support, as well as nurturing them with social skills that will be useful at all stages of their lives.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.