Inner child work is a therapeutic approach that focuses on healing and nurturing the wounded or neglected aspects of our inner child. The concept refers to the emotional, psychological, and vulnerable part of ourselves that we carry from childhood into adulthood.
Inner child journaling prompts can help us reconnect with with the wounded inner child, acknowledge their pain, and provide love, support and healing they may have lacked growing up.
I’ve been journaling for over 13 years but I didn’t start doing inner child work until 3 years ago when I started therapy. Engaging in this practice has helped me with self-awareness, self-compassion, and the ability to start breaking patterns that stem from unresolved childhood issues.
In this article I will share you with some of my favorite journaling prompts that have helped me in my journey of healing, self-reflection, and compassion.
How journaling can help you heal
You might be wondering, “Why journaling? How can this be helpful?” As mentioned earlier, inner child work is a practice that involves healing and reconnecting with the part of yourself that holds the memories, emotions, and experiences of your childhood.
It’s about honouring that child within you, acknowledging their experiences, and soothing their hurts.
Journaling can be an incredibly beneficial tool in this healing process. It provides a safe space for your younger self to express themselves freely, to recount past hurts, and to explore their feelings. It can also help you create a dialog with your inner child, fostering understanding, empathy, and compassion.
Journaling is a medium that allows you to examine your thoughts, emotions, and experiences, giving them form and making them tangible. It’s an opportunity for honest, uninhibited communication with yourself.
The act of writing enables emotional catharsis. The simple act of putting pen to paper allows us to organise our thoughts and make sense of our emotional landscape.
The act of journaling can help us communicate with our younger selves + give them a voice. After all, the child is you – except now you’re in a grown-up body.
Doing inner child work through journaling can allow you to take on different perspectives. Your adult self can communicate with your inner child and vice versa.
Lastly, journaling can also serve as a record of your healing journey. Over time, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come, how your relationship with yourself improved, and how much healing has occurred!
Journaling, with its simple elegance, serves as a mirror to our minds and hearts. Whether it’s providing a cathartic release or helping to unearth and heal our inner child’s wounds, the power of journaling shouldn’t be underestimated.
Remember, each word you write is a step on your healing journey. So go ahead, grab that pen, and connect with your inner child.
15 journaling prompts
- Childhood Memories: Write about your earliest childhood memory. How did you feel in that moment? How do you feel about it now?
- Emotional Validation: When was a time in your childhood when you felt your feelings were ignored or invalidated? How would you validate those feelings now?
- Childhood Heroes: Who were your heroes when you were a child? Why did you admire them? What qualities did they possess that you wanted for yourself?
- Unmet Needs: What were your needs as a child that weren’t met? How can you meet those needs now?
- Childhood Traumas: Write about a traumatic event from your childhood. How has this shaped who you are today? What do you need to heal from this event?
- Comforting the Child Within: Imagine your younger self is sitting next to you. What comforting words would you tell them?
- Childhood Dreams: What were your dreams and aspirations as a child? How have they evolved? Are there any that still resonate with you?
- Joy and Happiness: What activities or hobbies did you enjoy as a child? How can you incorporate these into your life now?
- Nurturing the Child Within: If your inner child was a real child, what would they need from you to feel safe, loved, and cared for?
- Childhood Beliefs: What beliefs did you have about yourself as a child? Are these beliefs still present in your life today? How can you challenge or change them?
- Childhood Messages: What were some messages you received in childhood about yourself, the world, and other people? How do they impact your behavior and belief system today?
- Inner Child’s Perspective: Write a story from your inner child’s perspective. What would they like to say? What is their view of the world?
- Self-forgiveness: Is there something from your past that you blame your younger self for? Write a letter of forgiveness to your inner child.
- Childhood Lessons: What lessons did you learn as a child that have helped you in adulthood? Are there any lessons that have been more of a hindrance than a help?
- Meeting Your Inner Child: Visualize meeting your inner child in a peaceful, safe place. What does your inner child look like? What do they have to tell you? How can you reassure and comfort them?
How to use the journaling prompts
Journaling can be quite a confronting and emotionally intense practice. Some days when I journal, I feel happy and relaxed. However, other times, journaling feels like an intense therapy session.
The 15 journaling prompts I outlined are some of my favorites, and they vary in intensity and depth.
If you want to do some deep inner child work, all of the above journaling prompts will help you. However, don’t try to do them all in one sitting!
I suggest that every week you do 2-3 prompts. Not only will this approach ensure you’re doing it well and not rushing, but it will also allow you to reflect upon the answers that come through.
Additionally, you might pick up a prompt, but nothing comes to mind as you prepare to write. Don’t worry – it’s okay! Pick another one and move on. The prompt may not be resonating with you at this time.
Journaling can seem like such a simple practice, but it has been the most significant return on investment I’ve gotten. It has been crucial in my self-awareness and healing, and after a decade of doing it, it’s the one practice I recommend to everyone.
If journaling is what you enjoy and/or want to further explore – considering checking out my journaling class for self-reflection. Additionally, you might also enjoy these journaling prompts for a money mindset.