Creating a Dialog with your Inner Toddler

This is a continuation of what I started ages ago in this post. There were some questions in this exercise that are just too hard to answer right now. But I’ll try to come back to them when I feel a little bit stronger.


From: Cathryn L. Taylor M.A. The Inner Child Workbook

Creating a Dialog:

1. What is her favorite color?

Her favorite color is blue. She really likes deep, dark blues.

2. What is her favorite bedtime story? Favorite toy?

Her favorite story is “The Cat in the Hat”. But her parents don’t read it to her. She reads it to herself. Her favorite toy is her stuffed mouse.

3 What activity does she most enjoy?

She loves sitting in the stuffed chair in her room and reading. She doesn’t like going outside to play with other children. She feels like she doesn’t fit in. She feels so much older than the other kids in the neighborhood, even though she’s the same age.

4. Ask her to tell you about its fear of being left because of misbehavior, or fear of hearing or saying no.

Ever since her mother put her in the car and threatened to drive her to the orphanage and leave her, she is very afraid of being left anywhere. She is convinced that her parents will never come back for her. She never says “no” to her parents. She is afraid of being hit or being sent away. But she is very used to hearing “no” from them.

5 What does she need most from you?

She needs to be understood. She needs to be told that it is really OK to have feelings. She needs to know that she won’t be sent away no matter what she does.

6. Ask her if you parent her the way your parents did you. If so, how does this feel?

Sometimes it does feel the same way. She feels like she is ignored or not wanted.

As an adult, this hurts me. I don’t want to make her sad. I don’t want to hurt her.

7. How does she feel about you? Does she understand what it means to be reclaimed by you?

Sometimes she is scared of me. She’s afraid that I’ll hurt her the way she was hurt before.

She doesn’t really understand what it means to be reclaimed. It sounds more like the empty promises made by her parents.

8. Does she feel comfortable with your setting limits and saying no?


9. Is there anything she wants to know about you? Does she trust you to protect her boundaries and to respond to her needs?

She has many of the same questions as the inner infants. She want to know if I’ll hurt her like other adults in her life. She wants to know if I’ll listen to her fears or if I’ll just make fun of them. She wants to know if it’s OK to just be that little girl that she is.

She doesn’t really trust me though. So many of the adults that were supposed to take care of her ended up hurting her. She’s skeptical that I would be any different.

10. What joys does she want to offer you and what prevents this from happening?



8 thoughts on “Creating a Dialog with your Inner Toddler

  1. kprsjohn says:

    understanding your littles and them understanding you is really important to all concerned so congrats on this step and keep on keeping on!

    peace and blessings


  2. I read this and saw words you didn’t even write so I know it must have been difficult to answer these questions. When you wrote: “I don’t want to hurt her.” I read “I don’t want to hurt her ANYMORE.” When you wrote: What joys does she want to offer you and what prevents this from happening? I read “and what PERVERTS this from happening?” I read it the way I myself feel. When I think of my inner children I feel fear, true fear for them and for me. It must have been incredibly difficult to answer these questions. I applaud you for doing it.

    I worry that if I tell my little ones and other insiders that things will be different they’ll see it as an empty promise. How many times did my mother say things would be different and how many times have I myself told them one thing and did another? I don’t want to hurt them/me but I seem to be really good at it. My promises are good to everyone but me.


  3. Our inner states often get expressed in how we see or hear or read things. I know that there are times I have to ask someone to repeat what they just said or reread something multiple times to make sure I’m hearing or reading what was actually said or written.

    I so hear what you’re saying Austin. I know about the empty promises. And I keep my word to everyone but myself. Some how I feel it’s ok for me to be let down or betrayed.

  4. searching4me says:

    I liked this exercise. I had been doing some inner child work….but I stopped a few months ago. I only got up to age 4-5. I think I may start up again. Maybe start with this exercise. What book did you get it from?

  5. It came from Cathryn L. Taylor’s “The Inner Child Workbook”.

    It’s powerful stuff this innerchild therapy. Hard too. But worth it.

  6. Ella says:

    I’m a Social worker but I temporarily gave up my profession. It’s painful, it hurts very deeply. Every children, every women that come to me for help reminds me of my past. I’m so tired of loneliness. I want “little Ella” to be free. I want her to be happy and enjoy life. I want little Ella to cry because she has been feeling numb for long years. She’s in pain… Just starting to heal my inner child. I have a son and I’m doing this for him. I want him to grow up with a matured and nurturing mother but I know it can only happen If I heal myself first. I’m a shame-based person with a shame-based parents. I have to accept that though it’s hard. I need help but I’m ashamed because people expect that a social work graduate like me must be emotionally healthy. I myself could not believe I was able to finish college and passed the board exam for social workers with my present emotional condition. I lived a life full of chaos and trauma. I’ll go back to this site from time to time. It really helps. Thank you.

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Ella. I hope you and Little Ella find healing. It’s difficult work, but the reduction in the pain is worth it.

    *safe hugs*

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