Your inner child is talking to you ... Are you listening?

authentic parenting cycle breaker emotional awareness generational trauma inner child healing mom rage
Smirking toddler with coffee

Huh? Who? Who is talking to me? I don't hear anything?

You're probably wondering who this she is, and what you should be hearing.

The she I am referring to is your inner child. The little girl that lives within you.

She talks to you every day. All day long, in fact.

Every emotion you feel. Every assumption you make.

That's your inner child.

She's asking you to pay attention, especially when you're upset and spiraling yourself into a pit of despair, anger, or frustration.

You see, every experience & emotion that you've ever had is stored in your body - in a place we call the inner child. And every experience you have now, as an adult, is filtered through this lens of your inner child.

This is why two people experiencing the same moment in time can walk away with two different interpretations.

Let me paint a picture:

You and your partner are sitting in the living room having coffee & chatting about the day. Your toddler is playing with her blocks at the table in front of you.

Without notice, your toddler plops a block into your coffee cup, sloshing hot coffee all over your lap & couch.

Your toddler laughs and claps her hands and your partner calmly walks to the kitchen to get towels to clean-up.

And you?

You're seething. You jump up quickly, slam your coffee onto the table (spilling more coffee), and grab your toddler by the arm and shout at her.

Maybe you say something like, "Why did you do that? What were you thinking? Look at this mess you made! Can't I just drink my coffee in peace?"

When your partner comes back into the room, they invite you to go upstairs to change and calm down while they clean up the spilled coffee.

But you're too keyed up:

"Calm down? Me? Look what she did!"

There were three people in the room during this situation, and all three people had a very different response - and the key to understanding those responses and why they were so different lies in the inner child.

Your toddler is living her inner child. She doesn't yet have an inner child because it is developing at this time. To her, plopping the block into your coffee cup was an experiment.

She's delighted at the sound of the 'plop' as the block falls into the mug & the sight of the slosh as it spills out of the cup. That was fun, she's thinking to herself!

Your partner wasn't triggered by the incident. Why? Well, maybe kids doing kid things is not a trigger for them. Maybe, as a child, they weren't scolded for making a mess, but instead shown compassion and understanding, and taught how to clean up after a mess was made. Or, maybe this is just something that they worked to heal.

Either way, your partner is reacting from a healed place. A place that understands (and accepts) toddler behavior. Toddlers are inquisitive. They are messy. And they almost never follow your expectations - because they don't have those same expectations.

You, on the other hand, reacted from a place of pain and/or fear. Yes, you were the one who was (maybe) burned by hot coffee and so a "Yowwwww-ch!" response may have been appropriate. Yes, you were surprised by the sudden splash into your mug. But the reaction was outsized.

This doesn't mean you are wrong or less than or horrible - or whatever it is that you're telling yourself right now in this moment.

Your reaction was simply your inner child talking to you. She is saying, "Hey. That thing that just happened - it scared the F out of me. It made me feel unsettled. Can you help?"

Your job is not to beat yourself up and criticize yourself for the outsized response. Your job is not to fall into a pit of despair thinking all hope is lost or feel like you aren't cut out to be a mama.

Your job, in this moment, is to acknowledge the pain you're carrying. It is to extend yourself grace, patience, and understanding.

By acknowledging your inner child in this moment, you are building your self-awareness. You're recognizing that there is a message waiting for you to decode.

And the more you build this awareness around the things that trigger you, the more you'll be able to get a handle on those outsized, overwhelming emotions.

With that awareness, you want to sit with your inner child - I know, that probably feels very awkward.

Sit with my inner child.

So what do I mean by that?

When you've noticed that you've had a reaction that is different than you would have liked, to sit with your inner child is to ask her what she needed in that moment.

What was coming up for you when your child spilled your coffee?

Chances are your reaction mimicked the reaction you would have received from a caregiver for a similar situation when you were a child.

Your inner child learned that childish behavior (such as making messes) is unacceptable.

So your child making a mess triggered your inner child into a place of fear - she was on edge, knowing that a mess will most certainly mean getting scolded. And to a child, getting scolded is scary.

In that moment, you were acting from the inner child instead of from a mature, logical adult mind. An adult knows that children like to experiment and often make messes, and that they don't yet understand cause and effect. An adult knows that messes can be cleaned up.

Your knee-jerk reactions come from your inner child.

They are learned behaviors & defense mechanisms developed from previous experiences.

They are neither wrong or bad. They simply are reactions. And you, as an adult, have the ability to shift those reactions by practicing self-awareness & extending yourself grace and understanding.

If you'd like support processing those messages & building your awareness, I can help. Start by downloading my free masterclass: Mom Rage . It'll provide you with actionable strategies you can use in the moment to help you regain your calm, while teaching you why your rage happens. And when you're ready for more, I have coaching packages available to you.

It's time to stop yelling.

Download your {FREE} access to Mom Rage Masterclass: an important conversation about the anger & frustration that can consume & isolate moms, with actionable strategies to take you from raging to calm when you need it most.

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