At a young age, my brother and I were constantly encouraged to explore. I spent my childhood satisfying my insatiable curiosity and conducting my own little experiments outside during summer days in Texas. Even today, at 18, I still enjoy going outside and lifting up rocks to find a slew of different bugs and creatures. (Only now I look them up online if I want to identify them – which I usually do!)
I still capture spiders in and around my house, identify them, observe their behaviors, and let them go outside. I still pull out earthworms from the dirt and look at them with awe. I still attempt to light fires using a magnifying glass and the sun! I fly paper airplanes and try to create the most efficient one. My brother and I even have fencing matches with the water noodles at the grocery store.
Don’t ever lose this. My childhood curiosity has now blossomed into a strong interest in everything and has given me a strong basis of knowledge. (Plus it was so fun!)
If you’ve never gone outside to play wall ball or TV tag with your siblings, if you’ve never gotten your feet a little dirty, used up your mom’s popcorn to try popping it with a magnifying glass, had water gun battles, or sold lemonade or made paper boats, do it now!
Many of us have forgotten how to do this without guilt or anxiety that, as adults, we must be doing something that is worthwhile. Take some time away from your responsibilities and satisfy your natural human curiosity. If you have kids, share the experience with them!
Some psychotherapists call your inner child the “true self.” Spending some time with your inner child can boost your self-esteem and help you to solve deep-rooted problems that possibly could have followed you through your adulthood. Talk with your inner child as if you were its guardian, reassure it, and uncover any internal battles.
It’s never too late to have a happy childhood!