Do you have an inner child? Is there a part of you that is still young and vibrant and loves being goofy and finding joy in small things? In Chapter 2 of his book 10 Conversations You Need To Have With Your Children, Rabbi Shmuley says it's parents' jobs to make sure that as their children grow into their teenage and adult years, they all retain their inner child. "Help them retain their innocence, help them retain their fascination, imagination, creativity and forgiveness," he says.
Rabbi Shmuley says children are growing up too quickly in today's world and are absorbing many negative adult traits, such as cynicism and depression, at too early an age. As a parent, you can sit with your children and urge them each to choose to retain their inner child. "Don't put on makeup too fast, don't start dating at too young of an age, don't let yourself become angry and scream and refuse to share," Rabbi Shmuley says. "Let that [childhood] innocence percolate, let it permeate throughout every aspect of your life."
As your child learns to preserve his or her inner child, Rabbi Shmuley says you will inspired to do the same. "We can become freer with ourselves, less self-conscious, more imaginative more creative, more forgiving [and] less self-absorbed."
"In life, the heart follows the hands—the hands don't follow the heart. Don't wait for your emotions to make you happy. If you behave in a certain manner, you will become what you behave. Your hands will mold and shape your heart."