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"To learn from the child we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn." - Alice Miller (1923-2010)

 

'Empathy' is understanding the feelings, thoughts and experiences of another person, as well as the self (in other words, knowledge of the mind). Without empathy a child cannot socialise well, or regulate their own feelings, and this impacts upon their levels of stress, their learning, development, self-confidence, and so on. When empathy is shown to a child, s/he develops empathy for her/himself as well as for others. It is created through relationship.

The inner child is the collection of our early thoughts, feelings and behaviours. When we are engaged with our inner child healthily, we can feel emotions without self-judgement, and can identify what we need, and we can freely access our creativity and playfulness, whatever our age.

When we are engaged with our inner child unhealthily, we can be plagued by feelings and behaviours of inadequacy, shame, vulnerability, anxiety and depression. Equally we can try to cut off the inner child, to feel as little emotion as possible (often unsuccessfully).

The skill of being in constant psychological contact with our inner child - and I must emphasise it is a skill, to be developed like any other - without fear of becoming overwhelmed by negativity is, quite simply, life changing.

 

 ęCopyright 2018 Pritiva Attiken