Bring Back Your 4-Year-Old Self! 

November 29, 2019

I had this thought the other night as I sat on the couch with a wine watching the gorgeous show on catch-up ABC iview called ‘Old People’s Home for 4 year old’s...’ (do yourself a favour if you haven’t watched it yet, it is the best). When and why does our innocence leave us when we are children? Why do we lose a sense of our carefree, honest, loving nature? I mean obviously we need to grow up and ‘adult’ which I hate doing most of the time, but why do we lose that ‘little girl’ or ‘little boy’ inside of us? And I don’t know if anyone else sees this, but it is being lost so much faster in young children these days.

It took me back to a photo that one of my mum’s dear friends sent through that she found of me when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I was the happiest little girl in the world. I loved to make people laugh; I sassed around in my bikini’s whenever I wanted and loved to talk to people from all walks of life. This got me into hot water a few times with some untoward characters trying to infiltrate my world and it is because I never saw anyone as different, everyone was equal. 

My favourite school holiday activity was going to Montrose special holiday camp with one of our family friends who worked there. The kids that were on the camp, in my eyes, weren’t less fortunate than me… They were the same as me. Sure they needed help on the things that I took for granted, but I never saw them as being less fortunate. They certainly didn’t think they were, as they were having the best time of their lives!  

I think back at how simple our lives are as children. How much we love life, how much we wear our heart on our sleeve, how much we ask questions that we want to know without a worry in the world. When does this change for us? Does it change at home when we listen to what is right and wrong from our friends and family? Does it change when we go to school and are taught by our teachers…and depending on what type of day they are having could mean the lesson learnt is very different from what it should be. When do we as children strip away that innocence that gives us so much confidence and when does the love in our hearts become so guarded and protected? 

I really tried to think back to the time when I think it changed for me and I lost part of the little girl in me that needed to stay around. I think it starts in primary school when you are starting to become aware of the people around you, how they influence you and how you listen and take on what they say to you. Whether it be something about your shoes not being the same as everyone else’s so you get picked on… that grates on your ‘little girl’ heartstrings. For the record my mum bought me the most amazing pair of Clarks T-bar shoes! They screamed fashion and fancy and as a 4 year old, that is what I wanted! And you wonder why this was such a big deal to others, they weren’t that different. Just like I thought the kids at Montrose weren’t different.

In primary school, you are really subjected to other children’s personalities and opinion’s, who, when you think about what comes out of their mouth, sounds like something out of their parent’s mouths. My parent’s only ever taught me love and kindness for others, never negativity. Sure there were times when I was subjected to negativity as a child but my parents always taught me the right and wrong and how to show compassion and empathy for those around me. I never choose to use that behaviour myself because I could see from an early age the impact it would have on others.

Once the negativity and unkind comments start to flood into your life as a little girl it is then hard to keep yourself safe from it creeping in and possibly taking away that innocence and kind, carefree sense of self that you have. Your parents aren’t there any more 24/7 to guard you. You need to start looking after yourself. And for me, it was much easier to make sure that the people around me were protected from others negativity and I did that by putting myself in front of the firing line to protect other people’s hearts and their kindness bubbles. I think this is when we can start to lose the self-love and innocence that we have as young ones because it is being slowly being taken away from you. 

So after thinking back at all of the times that someone spoke down to me as a young girl or the times that I stood up for others that needed it more than I did or I was even just subjected to someone’s ‘bad day’ it got me thinking. At this time of year when we’re all REALLY BUSY, and there isn’t possibly ANY time to think about ourselves. STOP for a minute and think about that little girl or little boy that was once that sassy, carefree, loving human that loved themselves sick and loved everyone around them. Look at others through the eyes of that ‘little girl self’ and give them the confidence they may need or offer them that helping hand that you would have as a 4-year-old. 

But more importantly, celebrate that little girl yourself! Pull out your favourite photo of yourself as a sassy 4 year old and stick it to your make-up mirror! Bring her back out for a run around the paddock, let her dress up and feel confident in that dress you have been saving for a special occasion! Give her the time to make people laugh and open her heart to the others around her. But most of all, look at her in the mirror and remind her that she is loved, beautiful and still as important as ever to you and your life. She was what made you who you are today so remind her that she will always be an important part of you. Let her have that extra coating of lipstick on her lips and that extra lolly from the lolly jar! She deserves it. And remember that the children around you in your life right now are going to grow up one day and ask themselves the same questions. Give them the best opportunity of love and kindness now so they don’t have to dig too hard when trying to find it again later in their lives!

Love that little girl within! She is there waiting to say hi and she is there waiting to give some extra love and kindness to a world that is very much in need of it at the moment.