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Why You Shouldn't Give in to Your Inner Child

Updated on January 9, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, an industrial engineer, a mother of two, and a published sci-fi and horror author.


Everyone contains an inner child since this is the first personality aspect that we develop after the blank state of infancy if one excludes the natural personality of the individual. Yet lack of adult development or deliberately choosing to fail to exercise self control, forethought and emotional maturity can create conflict for adults. Why should you supervise your inner child instead of giving into it?

Kids get to have fun. However, part of being an adult is taking responsibility. Why should you discipline your inner child?
Kids get to have fun. However, part of being an adult is taking responsibility. Why should you discipline your inner child? | Source

Examples of Giving in to the Inner Child

One spouse says, “Let’s spend put this surprise tax refund into a savings account in case surprise bills pop up, so we don’t make the credit card debt get worse.” The second spouse gives in to their inner child, demanding to spend it on toys instead of rationally agreeing to save the money to prevent a worsening financial state.

An even worse decision would be to outwardly agree with the decision to save the money while succumbing to inward fear and defiance, sneaking behind the other spouse’s back and spending the money without permission on the coveted adult toy in secret. By defying the spouse as if they were a parent, the person giving in to the inner child destroys their finances if not their marriage.

When constructive criticism is given, an adult will listen to the criticisms and decide how to improve their performance. An adult who has a strong inner child they will not control will suffer fear and defiance, letting the person says their piece before screaming back in angry denial regardless of the truth behind the criticism. For children, the result is time out or quiet time. For an adult, giving in to the inner child can cost the grown up their job.

Assuming one has a right to follow every whim from the child-ego, that inner source of game and fun, at the expense of adult responsibilities causes everyone to suffer. A mother who goes out and parties because she wants to have fun while neglecting her children gave her inner child free reign at the expense of her real children. They suffer neglect. And when she returns, she risks criminal charges or children who refuse to obey her out of fear and defiance.

One man calls another man a vile name. An adult would walk away or throw back a witty retort. A man living through his inner child and thus relinquishing his self control gets angry and throws a punch in immediate retaliation. The consequence for one child hitting another is time out. The consequence for a grown man is jail time.

Your inner child wants to be rewarded for every good deed. The adult gives in to these impulses and buys desired items as a reward for every hard week at work. Then come the bills showing that the person spent more on indulgences and bills than was actually earned that week.

Someone receives a sizable settlement from a lawsuit. Instead of socking the money away for medical expenses, they buy everything on the wish list. The new car, the bigger house, the trips they've always wanted to go on. Soon, the money is used up, and there is nothing left for medical bills.

Parents want to have fun like their children seem to have. They go partying with young adults instead of tending to responsibilities. They share beer and worse with their child's friends in the hopes of looking cool. The acts are illegal as well as a poor example, and the parent risks fines and jail for sinking down to their child's level.


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