Inner child journaling prompts are an excellent way to spark deep thought about parts of yourself that you may have packed away a long time ago and forgotten about.
Getting back in touch with our inner child is an important element of shadow work, or unlocking aspects of ourselves that may lie in the shadows. While this may sound negative, it's actually the opposite—shadow work is an exercise in self-reflection can actually help heal us and bring more joy to our lives.
Whether you want to heal old wounds that your inner child is still processing or get back in touch with the joyful, untethered parts of yourself, these 45 inner child-focused journaling prompts will be an excellent companion on your shadow journaling journey.
1. Who did you look up to as a child?
2. Describe a time in your childhood when you hurt someone's feelings. What happened?
3. What was your earliest childhood memory?
4. If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?
5. What was the most difficult part of your childhood?
6. Describe a time in your childhood when you felt light and care-free
7. What was your favorite toy or activity as a kid?
8. What does the word "childlike" mean to you?
9. What was something that scared you as a kid?
10. Describe your childhood in one sentence
11. Who was your best friend when you were a kid?
12. Name something form your childhood that you're grateful for.
13. Who was your favorite teacher in school? What did you like about them?
14. Describe a time when you felt unsafe when you were a kid.
15. What was your favorite subject in school?
16. Do you have siblings? Were you close with them growing up?
17. When you were a kid, what did you daydream about?
18. Are you close with your parents?
19. Did you feel connected to your home growing up? Why or why not?
20. Describe your childhood bedroom
21. Who did you feel close with as a child other than your parents and siblings?
22. As a kid, what did you imagine being when you grew up?
23. As a child, what did you worry about?
24. What was something you were insecure about as a child? How does it influence your life now?
25. Describe a time when you felt misunderstood as a kid.
26. What role did you play in your family?
27. When you got good grades, were you rewarded for them? Were you ever punished for bad grades?
28. If you have a child yourself (or think you will someday), what will you do differently from your parents?
29. Name one really positive thing about the way you were parented.
30. What's an affirmation you could have used as a child?
31. What memory makes you smile every time you think about it?
32. Who did you consider a mentor growing up?
33. If you could change one thing about your childhood, what would you change?
34. Do you find it easy or difficult to access memories from your childhood?
35. What was your favorite movie or TV show as a kid and what did you love about it?
36. What was your favorite book as a kid?
37. Is there anything stopping you from moving forward from some aspect of your childhood?
38. What negative emotions come up for you when you think about your childhood?
39. What was your "safe space" as a kid?
40. What was your dream job when you were a kid?
41. What can you do now that can honor the needs of your inner child?
42. When you feel ashamed, how do you react?
43. Are you good at prioritizing yourself?
44. How do you feel when you spend time with kids now?
45. What makes you feel jealous? Do you have any idea where that envy comes from?
Why is getting back in touch with your inner child so powerful?
Shadow work questions like these are a great way to access your inner child, because writing through certain memories, experiences, or emotions can help you understand current and past experiences better. This will help you process them, heal, and even reconnect with some of the joy you felt as a child — for example, writing through something you really enjoyed doing as a kid could help you change or careers, or at the very least find spare time to access the playfulness and joy that came from those activities.
Can calling on your inner child be difficult and even painful? Absolutely. But that's where the really powerful, life-altering work happens — so give it a try. And remember, if you're ever working through really difficult memories or emotions, it can help to talk to a mental health professional.
Want more great blog posts? Give these ones a read: