5 Ways to Tap into Your Inner Child
by Susie Beghin, RECE, Founder of Alpha’s Discovery Kids
As an educator, parent, and daycare owner, I feel blessed to be around children every day. Being with children has allowed me to learn how to tap into my own inner child. I have seen firsthand how important it is to my relationship with them. Children tend to engage with me and seek me out when I’m connected to my inner child.
What is the Inner Child?
The Inner Child lives inside you. It can best be described as “child-like”, innocent and free from worry. It can’t be taken away, but it can hide. It’s like a light shining within you that can’t burn out, but it can be temporarily dimmed.
Why tap into your Inner Child?
There are a couple of important reasons to tap into your inner child. One of the main reasons you will want to do this is to feel more joy and energy in your life. Have you ever noticed that children seem to be full of joy most of the time? They tend to smile and laugh more than adults. They are full of energy! The second reason is, as a parent, it will strengthen your relationship with your children. In the book Learn To Play, I state the importance of tapping into your inner child when you are playing with them. It will allow you to influence and educate them in the best way possible. And finally, it’s good for your mental health. When you tap into your inner child, it feels good!
5 Ways to Tap into Your Inner Child
- Spend Time with Children in Play – I found this way to be the easiest. Children naturally will bring out your inner child when you are playing with them. Resist the urge to direct the play. Just follow along with what they are doing. The more you follow, the more your inner child will come out. Let yourself be free in the play. Don’t worry about anything – like making a mess. Don’t be afraid to get silly and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Be playful and have fun.
- Be Curious – We can learn how to be curious by observing children. They naturally have a sense of wonder and curiosity about everything. They are learning about their world and there are many new things to learn. A baby is just figuring out how to open and close a kitchen cupboard. Imagine their excitement when they finally get it open! They want to do it repeatedly! Children are like scientists that are always testing a hypothesis. They are curious about how things work. We need to see the world in the same way. We need to be curious and look at the world with the eyes of a child.
- Be Mindful – Being mindful means focusing on the present moment without any judgement. Children are naturally mindful and have a heightened sense of awareness. They tend not to worry about the past or future and are mostly focused on what is happening in the present moment. We can learn a lot from children in this regard. Many of our worries and problems arise when we are too focused on the past or the future. We forget to enjoy the present moment, which is full of opportunities and joy. Want to learn how to be mindful? Click here and watch one of our videos about how to cultivate mindfulness.
- Look up – We live in a world with a lot of distractions and mobile phones have had a huge impact on us. I am guilty of spending too much time looking at my phone and scrolling through social media instead of enjoying the scenery on a drive. I have sat at the dinner table answering a message on my phone instead of engaging in conversation with the people sitting beside me. These same phones that are supposed to connect us to the world, often tend to disconnect us – emotionally. When we look up from our phones, we notice the world around us in a new way. We can’t engage with that world if we are looking down. Our inner child needs us to look up.
- Do something new – One of the best ways to challenge yourself to tap into your inner child is to try something new. Learn a new language, visit a new destination, or try out a new craft. Whatever you do, make sure you haven’t done it before. This will challenge your brain to make new connections the same way a child does when they learn something new.
Once you learn to tap into your inner child, you will be well equipped to engage with you kids and build the relationship. The spark is within you, you just need to let it shine!