The Inner Child

The Inner Child

Aug 10, 2023

Follow the Show

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Everywhere else

Today, I want to introduce you to (or bring you deeper into) the transformative world of inner child work. By soothing and addressing the pain and unmet needs from our own childhoods, we can discover profound healing and self-compassion. 

I’ll walk you through some simple exercises you can try to be kinder to yourself and explore how the concept of your child's inner child can help you bring a more nurturing and loving approach to parenting.


What Is The Inner Child?

Maybe you’ve heard of the concept of your inner child. It’s a really great way to see yourself through a lens of kindness, love and compassion. I’m extending this idea further today and talking about your child’s inner child. 

A lot of our work in adulthood is about going back and healing our inner child from experiences that hurt us or things that we needed but didn’t receive in childhood.

My life mission is to heal the next generation in advance. What if our kids didn’t need to heal from childhood? What if we could raise them with compassion and give them the tools they need to be emotionally healthy adults? I believe that, while we can’t prevent pain, we can prevent trauma in our kids. 

In order to do this, we need to heal ourselves now, too. 


How To “Heal” Your Inner Child

I’m not a therapist, but I am a life coach, and I’m sharing some tools I’ve learned along the way to help you on your path to healing. 

The first comes from my life coach, Martha Beck. It is called KIST - an acronym for Kind Internal Self Talk. 

To heal from our pain, we have to love ourselves through it. But our self-talk is often very critical, and we tell ourselves a lot of negative stories. Instead of letting our inner critic tell us we’re not safe, we’re not good enough, nobody likes us, we can shift to positive statements that support and encourage us. 

In my programs, I often call these “thoughts to borrow”. Here are a few you can try out:

  • I can handle this.
  • This moment is temporary.
  • I can figure out how to make this moment more peaceful.
  • I'm doing my best.
  • I have plenty of time.
  • I choose peace and harmony over stress and perfection.
  • I know what to do.
  • This isn't that hard.
  • I can figure this out.

The second strategy I want to share with you is writing a love letter to yourself. It starts simply with, “Dear [your name], I am writing to tell you I love you."

Next, fill in each of the prompts below:

  • I love you because...
  • I appreciate you because...
  • I am proud of you because...
  • You should feel accomplished because...
  • _____makes me feel happy because...
  • You are awesome because...
  • You are beautiful because...
  • You are unlike anyone else because...
  • I’m thankful to you because...
  • What I wish for you is...

Sign it, "I love you. Love, [your name]"

You can extend this activity by also writing a letter to your inner child, speaking kindly and tenderly to your younger self.


Your Child’s Inner Child

This concept is a little funny, because your child is living their inner child self right now. Our goal is to imagine their adult self and think about how we can support this inner child now so that they don’t need to heal later. 

As you think about your own inner child, you’ll think about what you wish your parents had said to you back then, what you wish they’d done or how you wish you’d been cared for. Through this lens, you can also imagine your kid 20 years from now. 

Your child’s internal self-talk will be inherited from you. We can use Kind External Parent Talk (KEPT) to speak more kindly to our kids. As parents, we often feel rushed or stressed, and we speak impulsively or shut our kids down without even realizing it. That’s why getting to CALM is so important. Speaking more kindly goes so far in your relationship with your kid, and it helps them develop kind internal self talk for themselves. 

Finally, you can adapt the love letter exercise again and write it or speak it out loud to your child (or write it to their inner child). 

What do they need to hear from you? Where are they longing to be seen? How do they want you to view them? 10 years from now, what are they going to wish you would have said or done? 

Of course, we can’t know these things for sure, and you won’t do it perfectly. But you certainly won’t do any harm by being extra kind and loving and acknowledging and appreciating who your child is. 

I know you love your kid so much that it hurts. I also know they make you absolutely bonkers and that sometimes you don't like them at all. That's okay. You’re a totally normal human. But the deep love is what we want to communicate to them, not the dislike.

How can you have more kind external parent talk this week? How can you show your love and heal your child’s inner child in advance and love them as you wish you were loved?

The takeaway I want to leave you with today is that you are ALL the parts of you, from all the ages and stages of your life. Thinking of the way you would speak to 8-year-old you will help you to be kinder to adult you. And you can give those kinder words to your own children for them to store inside their hearts. 


You’ll Learn:

  • Why healing ourselves is the first step to healing our kids in advance
  • How to shift your negative self-talk into a more positive message, even when you’re feeling stuck
  • A simple way to get comfortable with speaking to your inner child
  • How to see your child’s inner child and give them what they really need from you


Connect With Darlynn: 

Get the Stop Yelling Cheat Sheet

One simple tool to stop yelling at your kids, so you finally feel calmer and connect better.