Re-Parenting Your Inner Child
Expert Lisa J Smith explains how the inner child the part of us that needs love, guidance, nurturing and boundaries. If it’s not getting those, it’ll act out. This could emerge as tantrums of one kind or another, dangerous behaviours like addiction, or however we usually express our hurt and insecurity.
At first it’s not easy to separate the two psychologically. “We are so busy trying to figure things out from that adult place, we never stop to look at the other part of us that is holding onto all our hurt and pain from when we were little,” says Lisa.
When it acts out, our inner child deploys the same coping strategies it did back in our infancy. These are almost always inappropriate for the adult world. Our inner child can often manifest when dealing with our own children, leading to the ‘four generations of trauma’ that trauma guru Gabor Maté talks about.
“By getting to know your inner child, you can then begin to heal. Everything is energy. The energy from your inner child is affecting the energy you put out today” says Lisa.
Learn how to recognise when your inner child is acting out and establish a dialogue with them. Remind them that adult you is in charge now, and adult you has proven themselves surprisingly effective at dealing with difficulties in the past.
“The adult you might be successful, respected, popular and resilient, and it’s only when the inner child comes out that this is threatened,” says BAAM’s Mike Fisher.