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‘Inner Child’ Prompts and Additional Ideas

Updated: Apr 10

Our first ever anthology will centre the idea of the “Inner Child.”  Our inner child is often considered a reflection of our true selves, which we sometimes hide away from others as we get older. It’s also a part of us that views the world in a curious way, and acts as a link to connect us to our childhood memories and experiences. -Faerie Press Competition Brief 

In this blog post we will be exploring prompts and ideas surrounding the “Inner Child”. This has been touched on briefly in our Competition Brief which you can read here.

We hope to inspire you to enter our anthology competition with your work, whether it’s with a comic, prose, or poetry. Try out some ideas, answer our questions using personal experiences or fictional ones, and let us know what you think. This theme isn’t limited to the content written below, and we encourage you to find your own take on this theme and explore it in a unique and creative way! 

Conversation with the Inner Child: 

  • If you could speak to your inner child, what would you say? What would they say in response? 

  • How would their perspective differ from yours? Would their perspective be innocent and curious, or would it be based on early experiences that shaped their understanding of the world?

  • How would you interact with your past self if they were standing in front of you? What emotions would you feel, how would they feel? Would they be scared, confused, angry, sad? Would they be full of wonder, curiosity, and admiration? 

  • What if, your inner child still exists within you? You may conflict with your inner child, but acknowledging them, and speaking to them directly may be the key to resolving this conflict. 

Experiences from childhood:

  • Do you have a childhood experience that you feel has shaped who you are now?

  • What moments from childhood do you remember most clearly? Why do you think this is? How did these experiences affect you? 

  • Was there a time you were hurt? How did you deal with this? Who helped you? How would you respond differently (or the same) to similar experiences today?

  • How have you changed since you were younger?

[insert quotation/story from team member?]

Changes since childhood: 

  • How have the places, people and things that were present in your childhood changed? 

  • How has your life changed? How have you changed? 

  • How have your interests, hobbies and personality changed? 

Lessons from childhood: 

  • What did you learn as a child that has stuck with you? 

  • Storytelling is fundamental for children’s growth, development and learning. Children’s books often come with a lesson or moral. They teach the purpose of morals, the difference between good and bad, and why this matters. 

  • Childhood is ripe with experiences that teach lessons that children carry on until adulthood, for better or worse. What lessons were you taught in childhood? Did they help or hinder you? Were they based on true stories and experiences, or fairy tales and exaggerations? 

“When I was a child, I was scared of spiders, so my mum told me that if I didn’t clean my room then spiders would start living in the mess. This was an exaggeration at best, but I was terrified, and as a result, didn’t clean my room in fear of encountering the spiders that lurked in the untouched corners.” – Bronwyn Liddle 

Hidden or forgotten parts of yourself: 

  • Is there a part of you that you wish you could show more to the world? 

  • Most people learn to hide or repress some parts of themselves. This may be because of societal stigma, or criticism from people around them. While some level of conformity and compromise is necessary to get along with others, some people may shut off entire aspects of themselves in order to fit in.

  • What traits do you like and dislike in other people? Are they traits you share or don’t? Sometimes we love or despise others for having the traits we have given up on or repressed. Often, a weakness is just a skill you have yet to master. 

“When I was in primary school, I played hockey. Despite my skill, practice and love for the sport, I never felt like a valued member of our school’s hockey team. I was always second or third on the sub-team, and rarely got to play in competitions with other schools. As a result, my passion for hockey died off a few years into secondary school and I became exceptionally un-sporty. For years, I believed this was just the way I was, that I was ‘weak’. I admired people I saw as ‘strong’ because they had something I felt I could never have -they replaced a lost part of myself. I avoided sports for years, and when I couldn’t, I put in little effort and gave up quickly. It is only recently that I have rediscovered my strength by going to the gym consistently, which has changed my mindset entirely. Overall, there are many parts of myself that I have lost and have yet to find, and just as many that I have rediscovered.” – Bronwyn Liddle 

Playing in childhood: 

  • Playing is a natural and essential activity for children, contributing to their social, physical and cognitive development. Playing often includes activities that are: fun, spontaneous and voluntary. 

  • What did you play with as a child? What games did you play? 

  • Where did you go, did you explore new places? 

  • How did this activity make you feel? 

  • Why did you enjoy it? Why don’t you enjoy it now, as an adult? Is it because you can’t, or because you no longer want to? 

  • Is there something you used to do when you were younger that you wish you could do now?

“As a child, I loved going to the skatepark in my Heelys. Yes, I was a Heelys kid. My dad took me there with my helmet and my jeans that my mum always made me throw out after they inevitably got holes from falling and skidding. I loved the sense of freedom and control I had when I was skating around on the smooth, curved surface. It allowed me to slowly push my boundaries and discover new ways to navigate my surroundings. If my feet hadn’t grown so big and clumsy, I would still Heely everywhere.”  – Bronwyn Liddle 

Imaginary friends:

  • An imaginary friend is a fictional character existing only in the mind of a child. They can take various forms, such as people, animals, or even fantastical creatures. 

  • Children also sometimes imagine places, objects, or something else. Childhood is a time where, through imagination, the possibilities are endless! 

  • Most childhood friends are outgrown and forgotten. Did you have a childhood friend? Can you remember them? 

  • What did they look like? What was their personality? 

  • If you didn’t have an imaginary friend, did you have an imaginary place? 

  • What do you think your imaginary friend would say to you if they could meet you now? 

Thanks for reading! We hope these prompts, questions and ideas have helped to inspire you, and we look forward to reading what you come up with. You can submit your work here.

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