Lately, an inner child becomes a popular psychological term, especially among communities that are concerned about mental health. Even a famous Korean boy band, BTS, released a song titled inner child. The lyrics are about someone’s harsh life experience as a kid and they live along with it when they become adults. So, the lyrics of the song describe how someone reflects their childhood experience and wish to their current life. So, what is actually an inner child? Is it related to adulthood?

What is Inner Child?

According to Psychology Today, an inner child is a series of childhood moments, both good and bad, that create someone’s current personality. Though it cannot be physically seen, an inner child is part of yourself. It is there in your subconscious that will affect how you behave and respond when you are facing a problem. For example, when someone is surrounded by loving family members and friends during their childhood, they will grow up as a loving and caring adult.

Vice versa, if someone’s childhood is filled with abuse and emotional neglect from people around them, this can make them to be an individual who easily gets angry, has no empathy, and tends to be abusive in their adulthood.

Inner Child Can be Wounded

Inner children indeed can be wounded. And if it does not get proper treatment, it can cause problems in the future. A bad inner child can be a problem because of painful experiences during childhoods. For example, when someone lives in an abusive family or their parents neglect them. Getting less affection or being totally controlled by parents can also hurt the inner child. There are some other moments that can make someone’s inner child wounded. Such as being a victim of bullying, emotionally neglected, losing parents, being a victim of natural disasters, and many more.

If those conditions are not well-treated, destructive attitudes are possible to happen. It can even destroy someone’s future. Other effects of wounded inner child include abusive personalities, self-harm, insecurity, and passive-aggressive personalities.

Can Wounded Inner Children be Healed?

You cannot heal your wounded inner child. Your traumatic childhood becomes a history that forms yourself now. Though you cannot heal or change your inner child, you can still control and respond well to inner child wounds that can come out at any time. If there is something that bothers you, it means that you do not make peace with your inner child wounds yet. So, try to make peace with your inner child wounds first.

Many studies stated that writing about the pain you experienced during your childhood can be one of the ways to relieve your inner child’s wounds. Writing can also help to heal the negative emotions that you probably feel. Another study mentioned that when the body endures physical or emotional pain, even when you try to ignore the pain, it will still be there and will never go away. Doing a butterfly hug and telling yourself that you are precious and loved can be the way to treat inner child wounds.

Read more:

Traumatic Childhood Affecting Adults’ Personalities & Behaviors

Ways to Deal with Toxic Relationship with Parents Wisely

How to Heal from Trauma Caused by Verbal Abuse