On a recent webinar on connecting with your inner child to support children’s development, Ron Shuali from RonSpeak! joined us to discuss how early learning professionals can support the children they work with by connecting with their own inner children. Through laughter and excitement, Ron shared meaningful ways educators can be reintroduced to their inner children, and how finding this connection enhances joy in the classroom.
Everyone has an inner child
Your inner child is the part of yourself that allows you to be joyous and happy. However, it can also hold onto past trauma and thereby hold us back. When we focus on understanding and reframing past experiences, we can be more present with ourselves and the children we care for. We know that in early childhood, children are processing more than at any other time in their life, which is why it’s so important to set them up for success.
Your inner child can be reactive, but when we let our inner children out, we can be more self-reflective and responsive with the children in our care. These are the tools we need to respond positively during high-stress situations in the classroom.
Being comfortable with yourself is an important part of accessing, understanding, and being with your inner child. You don’t have to be upset with yourself for any way that you feel. However you feel, is okay. Never hold back on expressing and processing your emotions.
Reconnecting with your inner child
Reconnecting with your inner child will help you better understand yourself and find joy in your classroom. When we can access our inner child we will find meaningful ways to connect with children and support their development. Here are three strategies to ensure success.
Strategies to connect with your inner child and support children’s development
- Feel your feelings
Let your feelings out: it’s okay to cry, scream, laugh, smile, etc. When a child is triggered and gets upset, what do we often find ourselves doing? We try to shut them down. If a child is having a breakdown, try removing yourself and realizing that it is okay for them to be upset. Their emotions do not mean anything to us unless we give them meaning ourselves. Let the child express themselves freely.
You can try teaching children scream therapy: Find a pillow, take a deep breath in and then scream as loud as you can into the pillow for 3-5 seconds. Some people’s brains do not want to do this, but for some it can be a great release. You can model this for your children so that they can get rid of their stuck energy.
- Sit with your inner child without distraction
Take the time to be present with yourself. Visualize yourself as a child while engaging in deep breathing and remind yourself of your value and what brings you joy. Whatever comes up is the part of you that needs attention. Say “I love you, me”. This can turn into meditating if that feels natural to you. It is also something you can role model and teach to the children in your classroom.
- Do something that makes you happy.
Be joyous. Something inside you drives you to work with children and you want to make sure you are enjoying it. Access your happiness each and every day by going back to the positive memories from your childhood. What brought you joy as a child? A lot of these things will still bring joy today, especially as you share them with the children in your classroom. Find videos or mementos from your past and engage with them.
Watch our webinar on connecting with your inner child to support children’s development now for more tips!