The other day, one of the babies was told not to make noise because the others in the class were sleeping. This reminded me of how in third grade, I got scolded often by one of my teachers for standing up and calling out in class. The need to stand up and walk around wore off in 5th grade, but my calling out at times remained. I internalized the message that I was too much, too expressive. But looking at the baby in the class today, it reminded me that really the teacher was just trying to maintain order and I was not inherently flawed—albeit it’s always good to be working on being more considerate and mindful of my fellow classmates!
I first learned about this idea of reframing my childhood experiences reading books about the wounded inner child 10 years ago. The idea is that we still have different ages of ourselves in our psyche and that if we can converse with our inner child at different ages about the various challenges and pain we faced, we can heal those inner parts of ourselves. This is important because messages that we learned as children continue to form our inner dialogue, albeit subconsciously. We believe, as in the examples above, that we are inherently flawed, when really there was a larger context at work—such as a teacher trying to maintain order in the classroom.