What Does It Mean to Keep the Child Within Us Alive? A Tribute To Every Child I learn From
Another year, another children's day!
Social media going overboard on posts wishing everybody to preserve our inner child, to keep the child within alive.
Does that mean doing silly, cute things? Does it mean being careless? Does it mean being without responsibilities? What does it really mean to keep the child within us alive and why is it so important for us to rediscover our inner child so that our children can discover their best potential?
I recently got to play with a 7 YO, he had a plastic water bottle with a little more than 1/4th filled with water, he was playing with it by flipping and trying to make it stand. He was happy to have me in his play and aggreed to teach me the skill.
Child: Hold it near the end
Child: Else, it'll not flip.
Child: (observing me flip it too high) you need to give it little pressure and throw it farther not higher.
After a while he goes to the sink and empties a little water.
Me: why are you pouring the water out?
Child: (pointing to the ribbed pattern on the bottle) it needs to be at level 5, if there is more than level 5 it doesn't flip.
Now, let's imagine this child in two environments and visualize his possible future.
Environment 1: being around adults who have managed to preserve their inner child.
The adult would wonder along with the child, ask each other questions, realize they don't know certain things, they would read it up together, they would end up learning complex physics concepts of mass, velocity and momentum and how they function, they would create projects to explore more about the concept, see each other fail and learn from it, create a beautiful bond, memories to cherish forever and as a result, the child would develop a learning mindset, develop enriching relationship with self and the adult, would possibly grow to be confident with a high self-esteem and self image.
Environment 2: being around adults who have locked up their inner child.
The adult would ask the child to stop playing and go study, label the child that he is only good for playing and not studies. As a result, the child would possibly grow up believing he is not good at studies, his self-esteem and self-image would drop, the child would begin to feel unworthy, the child would lock up his inner child, possibly develop a strained relationship with self and the adult and fill himself with self-doubt.
Now that we see, it's not the child who is limited, but it's our inability to see beyond our limited way of thinking that shapes our children, which environment would you choose to be for your child?
When they say, "Keep your inner child alive" what they are actually saying is keep your curiosity and wonder alive. It's that skill that we often loose in the process of growing up. Curiosity and wonder enables learning and opens us up to possibilities and since it's a skill, it can be built at any age. You are never too old to build a new skill!
This children's day, let's make a change, let's choose our children over our excuses, let's embrace our inner child because we care about our children, let's look at our children with wonder and curiosity and you'll be surprised by how things might unfold.
Happy Children's Day!
Wishing you lots of adventure and learning in your journey of unlocking your inner child.