How To Channel Your Inner Child and Find Joy

Ask your 10-year-old self, she knows what to do

Adrienne Parkhurst
4 min readJan 19


Woman arching her back on dock with sunset in background
Photo by Drew Colins on Unsplash

Every once in a while I’ll listen to an interview or read a book that won’t leave me alone. Right now, I can’t get Jason Reynolds out of my head.

Last year, Reynolds, a novelist and poet, appeared on the podcast Unlocking Us, hosted by Brené Brown. During the interview, titled Masterpieces and Messes, Reynolds promoted his book, Ain’t Burned All the Bright that he co-created with artist Jason Griffin.

This interview drew me in — after I finished, I immediately replayed it. Later that week, I checked out a few of Reynolds’ books from the library and bought his new book from our local bookstore.

I’m no stranger to Reynolds work, his book Long Way Down inspired me to write poetry. But, I hadn’t realized I needed Reynolds’ work to help me through an unusual sadness that had crept into my life.

This podcast and book found me at the right time.

The Interview

I could listen to Jason Reynolds talk all day. His voice has a rhythm and depth that I find addictive.

One of my favorites parts of the interview is when he talks about his mom’s parenting approach.

Here’s a snippit of the transcript:

And then I come home and I’m like, “Yo, so Anton’s gay. Which is fine with me, but does that mean he’s going to hell?”

And my mom is like, “Why would you think that?”

And I’m like, “Because people say the Bible says that that means he’s going to hell.”

And my mother in complete confidence looks her child in the face and says, “Baby, if that’s what the Bible says, then the Bible is wrong.”

Now, this is something… [laughter] Because for her, it’s like, “I don’t care. There’s nothing on earth that’s going to have my child believing that the people he loves are doomed.”

Her first response is one of the best questions you can ask your child.

“Why would you think that?”

I’m learning to ask that question first or “Well, what do you think?” before I start in with my opinions. Often, kids…



Adrienne Parkhurst

Mom. Wife. Writer. Editor. Healthcare Freelance Writer. Lifetime Learner. Flawed Leader. Sharing my life lessons through personal essays and memoirs.