Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nurturing the Inner Parent

Often we hear people talk to us about nurturing our Inner Child, or how someone is treating themselves to something because they “deserve” it or have “earned” it.  But I listen to my Inner Child, and he keeps wanting things like electronic toys (which are expensive), sugary treats (which are unhealthy), fattening food (again, unhealthy), or he just wants to sit around and play without doing anything productive.


If listening to your Inner Child has become catering to his/her every whim, then you have an Inner Brat.  It’s time for your Inner Parent to take control again.  No video games til the chores are done, no treats between meals, and no frivolous spending or irresponsible behavior.


I’ve realized that my Inner Child is a spoiled rotten little brat in need of a good spanking.  I’m sure many of you can relate.  We’re told to cater to our Inner Child because we were deprived of something in childhood, or we were abused, or otherwise unhappy as children and that to be happy adults we need to nurture our Inner Child.  I recognize that my Inner Child represents my emotional self, and that it’s healthy to listen to him, however I think in general we go too far.


Your Inner Parent must be in control of your life.  The Brat shouldn’t be in charge, because that’s a sure path towards your own self destruction.  So let’s stop “rewarding” ourselves with things that aren’t good for us.  Be your own parent, and get your Inner Brat under control.  Do the chores, clean the house, exercise both your body and your mind, and revel in the tasty healthy food choices that keep your body functioning at peak efficiency.   It’s a lot easier to have a rewarding spiritual path when the body you live in is healthy, or at least as healthy as you can make it. 


I’m not saying we should neglect our Inner Child, continue to listen, but for goodness’ sake take away the car keys and put your Inner Parent back in control of your life!



  1. Well said! Freud would call that "id", but I like your terminology SO much better!

  2. It's like this financial guru says, "You have to live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else" and that means having grown-up fun, and not letting the inner 5-year old dictate your life. There's sometimes a barely discernible line between wants and needs, but that's where the inner parent comes in. You have to take care of your 4 walls: good food, shelter & utilities, transportation, and spirituality. Anything outside of those categories is usually a want, not a need. :)

  3. I think we've been whipped around by pop psychology as much as anything else over the last few decades . . . the whole "inner child" was a pretty ingenious way to address woundedness, but morphed pretty quickly into an ingenious way to justify self-indulgence. (A Pluto-in-Leo generational invention? Okay, maybe that's a little harsh. ;) )