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Ways to Start Healing Your Inner Child

When childhood trauma isn't addressed, it can resurface in various ways throughout adulthood. However, it's never too late to work towards healing. Everyone has an inner child, whether it's seen as a direct representation of yourself in your early years, a patchwork collection of developmental stages, or a symbol of youthful dreams and playfulness.

For those who experienced neglect, trauma, or emotional pain, the inner child may feel small, vulnerable, and in need of protection. Many people bury this pain to protect themselves, but hiding pain doesn’t heal it. Instead, it often surfaces in adult life, causing distress in relationships or difficulties in meeting one's own needs. Working to heal your inner child can help address these issues.

Healing your inner child takes time, but these eight tips can help you get started.

  1. Acknowledge Your Inner Child The first step towards healing is acknowledging your inner child exists. Recognize that the emotions and reactions you have today may stem from childhood experiences.

  2. Listen to Your Inner Child After opening the door to your inner child, listen to the feelings that arise. These feelings often emerge in situations that trigger strong emotions or discomfort. You might notice: Anger over unmet needs Feelings of abandonment or rejection Insecurity Vulnerability Guilt or shame Anxiety Tracing these feelings back to specific childhood events can help you understand why certain situations in your adult life trigger similar responses. For example, if your partner cancels plans and you feel disproportionately rejected, it might relate to childhood experiences where your parents often canceled important events for you.

  3. Write a Letter Writing a letter to your inner child can open a dialogue and start the healing process. Reflect on childhood memories from your adult perspective, offering insight or explanations for distressing circumstances you didn’t understand back then. This can help soothe lingering pain.

  4. Validate Your Feelings Allow yourself to experience and validate your inner child's feelings instead of pushing them away. This acknowledgment is crucial for healing. Recognize that your emotions are legitimate and worthy of attention.

  5. Practice Self-Compassion Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer a loved one. Reparent yourself by giving the love and support you may have missed as a child. This includes speaking kindly to yourself, setting healthy boundaries, and engaging in self-care.

  6. Seek Professional Help Consider working with a therapist who specializes in inner child work. A professional can guide you through the healing process and provide tools to address deeply rooted issues.

  7. Use Mindfulness Techniques Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help you stay present and connected to your emotions. This presence allows you to address your inner child's needs more effectively.

  8. Reconnect with Playfulness Allow yourself to engage in activities that bring joy and playfulness. This can help reconnect you with the more positive aspects of your inner child and foster a sense of freedom and creativity.


Healing your inner child is a journey that can significantly improve your emotional health and overall well-being. By addressing childhood wounds, you can become a more balanced and compassionate adult, parent, teacher, or leader. The process involves acknowledging and listening to your inner child, validating their feelings, and offering the love and support they need. Through self-compassion, professional guidance, mindfulness, and reconnecting with playfulness, you can start healing and create a more fulfilling and healthier life.

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