Significance of our Childhood

Posted on September 11, 2018

Everyone has an inner child side somewhere within, however the idea of it has received mockery and hence undervalued. Not only have studies proven the existence of our inner child, but also showed how it has significantly impacted people as individuals throughout their lives. There are several different ways to perceive what the inner child really is. Some view it as one’s ‘true’ self, which is being hidden due to negative memories from the past during their childhood days, while others view it as one’s creative side which helps us innovate and keep our thoughts alive.

Our inner child has gone through different types of experiences and absorbed much wisdom, knowledge, strength and life skills which are useful in the adult life. There is also a possibility that our inner child can improve our health and mental well-being during our adult lives by helping us manage stress and deal with drastic changes in life.

Some of the most eventful takeaways we may have from childhood consist of sharing relationships, the importance of play, overcoming our weaknesses and gaining strength, and the need to support the subsequent generation:

1. For sharing of relationships, the relationships we have with our friends and families between generations are generally carefree, open, honest and genuine ones that are comforting and makes us feel secure. These stable relationships and experiences play a part in helping people have faith in themselves. Loving acts from family members can also teach us the importance of making necessary compromises, always helping and supporting one another and most importantly, spending quality time together.

2. Play time facilitates a healthy mental well-being and a positive mind set. Activities done together with peers and families like sports, is not only fun but also brings people together, strengthen bonds between loved ones, teaches us ways to deal with conflict, make rational choices and knowing our priorities. Other activities like storytelling sessions and reading offer meaningful life lessons by facilitating growth mind set and a creative mind, creating a stable and highly positive mental well-being.

3. Both positive and negative experiences act as valuable life lessons. Positive experiences help us develop an optimistic and forward-thinking mind. The negative experiences teach us how to set necessary limits for ourselves and others and helps us grow into a stronger individual when we learn from the mistakes made in the past. For example, surviving an illness allowed one to become more empathetic, outgoing and gain the ability of understanding people and themselves better. However, overly negative memories such as experiencing trauma during childhood might also stay with us and lead to separation anxiety during certain events like going through a break up or moving out from home in adulthood.

4. Experiences from childhood also play a crucial part in impacting the type of parent one wants to be and improved their ability to deal with children. They pass on good habits and values to children, allowing them to grow into stable and mentally healthy individuals in the future. Hence, the whole life cycle repeats.

The experiences we have gone through during our childhood can influence our minds and determine the type of person we become or what kind of individual we aim to be. We can also pass down these valuable lessons learnt to the next generation so that they too can reap the benefits and grow into healthy and successful individuals in the future.

Category(s):Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions, Adult psychological development, Child Development, Health Psychology, Positive Psychology

Source material from Psychology Today