Why do we want to return to childhood – analysis of a psychologist

In a slow river, water is like glass.

There is a city somewhere

in which it is warm.

Our distant childhood

passed there … (Song “City of Childhood”)

Recently, Oksana Samoilova took her subscribers to the places of her childhood in the village of Yarega, the Komi Republic. Together with Oksana, we experienced the brightest moments from the distant past, which is very similar to ours: rolling down the railing at the entrance, walking along huge pipes instead of the road, walking along the school corridors.

The city of childhood: why we want to return to where we were little - a psychologist's analysis using the example of stars
Photo @samoylova__oxana

Oksana’s native places remained almost the same as their star remembers: a shabby shop, a familiar house, and even the creak of the door to her own entrance turned out to be a powerful trigger for the girl. It seems as if you hear your brother’s childish voice shouting: “Can you do that?” or the stern voice of my mother: “Come on, quickly go home!”

Oksana admitted that the main purpose of the trip was to meet her own father, whom they had not seen for 18 years. What kind of insult lay between the father and daughter, Oksana does not tell, but says that the father did not know the true reason for the alienation and was very surprised when he found out. And then he said, “I’m sorry.”

“I have been waiting for this” sorry “for 18 years, – the girl admits with tears in her eyes.

“I don’t want to live like this”

Only Oksana’s mother, stepfather and brother went on the long journey together with Oksana. Those people who were with her in her childhood, and, therefore, will also be able to strongly experience emotions from a meeting with the past. From the plane to the village, the girl chose to get on the usual groove.

The question arises: why is it so important for an adult, successful woman to find herself again in her “ordinary” childhood, where there is still no private jet, a huge house, luxurious cars, a line of cosmetics, a rapper husband and four lovely children? Why does the soul demand, at least for a moment, to be transported into the harsh past, where the way to school lies through a shabby staircase with low ceilings, a broken road with puddles and a clothing store where things hang to the ceiling and are removed with a long stick with a hook? Maybe a small homeland is a place of power? The place where your conscious path to yourself began?

Later, Oksana informs her subscribers that she has entered into an agreement with the UN and will now help women become financially independent and find their way to a happy life. And he explains what exactly prompted her to make such a decision:

“I often wondered why some people achieve something, while others do not. After all, you saw my childhood, it was the most ordinary. I did not have rich parents, the one who paid for my education did not have an oligarch husband. I just always knew what I wanted and clearly set my goals. “

Oksana Samoilova

And when Oksana worked all summer in her mother’s clothing store as a salesman in order to earn herself a ticket to Moscow, she already then decided: “I don’t want to live like this.”

By the way, recently Anastasia Ivleeva Together with Ksenia Sobchak, she also went to her native village and said that she always clearly understood that she did not want to live like these people around her. She dreamed of financial freedom and went ahead to her goal. But the TV star is very pleased to come to visit her native land, especially since her mother still lives there and is not going to move to Moscow.

Photo @nastyaivleeva

The past won’t let go

Why doesn’t the past let go of a person, even if, it would seem, he is already at the top of the world?

The famous poet Sergei Yesenin achieved great success during his lifetime, but always wrote with tenderness about his home:

“A low house with blue shutters,

I will never forget you, –

Were too recent

Resounding in the twilight of the year.

Until today I still dream

Our field, meadows and forest,

Covered with gray chintz

These poor northern skies. ” <…>

The city of childhood: why we want to return to where we were little - a psychologist's analysis using the example of stars
House where Sergei Yesenin was born
Photo Wikipedia

Later Galina Sukhoverkh wrote:

“I remember a wooden house on the shore of the lake and mushrooms laid out on the veranda for drying. And … a feeling of serene happiness … Free flight over the beautiful land, which is called a small homeland. Our childhood and youth passed there … There was a parental home … And therefore we are always drawn there, to these native places, wherever we live, whatever countries we visit …

A small homeland is forever … In memory, in heart, in soul … “

Sergey Yesenin
Photo taken from Wikipedia

So what is our small homeland? Why do people go back there? What does this give a person, from the point of view of psychology?

Oksana Konovalova

The reasons why a person can turn to his childhood are largely individual and, moreover, subconscious. A person himself may not fully understand why he returns to where his childhood passed, whatever it may be.

And yet we can talk about several typical, most common options – why and why a person comes to places where he was a child.

  1. Childhood is a place where it is good and safe.

If childhood was healthy from a psychological point of view, it had ecological parental love, care, support, warm feelings. Next to loving loved ones, the child felt protected and happy. This experience remains with the person forever.

Already in adulthood, he makes himself felt through that part of the personality, which is often referred to as the Inner Child. Anyone, even an adult, strong, courageous, successful person sometimes wants to relax, to give himself a break, to be small and weak, he wants hugs, he wants to hold his arms. This feeling of allowing oneself to be weak with complete protection and safety is very resourceful.

In this case, the place where childhood passed really becomes a “place of power” for a person, where he returns to fill, recover, and rest.

However, for many people, childhood is an anti-resource. And this does not mean that childhood was “bad”, that the child was offended or not loved. Loved. Perhaps too much. Strangled by care and overprotection, a child perceives childhood as a cage from which he longs to escape. In this situation, there is no need to talk about a “place of power”. People not only do not remember their childhood with warmth, do not feel nostalgic, but also diligently avoid both conversations and places related to childhood.

Photo by Pixabay
  1. Everything that does not kill us …

Responses to aggression and violence in childhood (both physical and emotional, psychological) can be different. Even two children who grew up in the same family and went through the same situations may react differently.

One will grow up insecure, withdrawn, shy, socially weak, and will avoid contacts and even more conflict. He will “hide” – the main thing is that the situations from childhood do not repeat themselves.

Another, having the same social experience, will have a completely different psychological experience. In adulthood, he will also do everything possible so that situations from childhood do not repeat itself, but he will act differently, according to the principle “the best defense is an attack.”

A negative experience from childhood, especially if it is associated with a specific significant adult, can make a person stronger – morally, physically, psychologically, and can become a starting point for self-development and personal growth. In this case, a return to places of childhood can also be a pilgrimage to a “place of power.”

  1. Return to win.

But it could be more than just a pilgrimage. When in childhood there are difficult, unpleasant, painful relationships and situations, and a person realizes that he has become stronger and higher than this, he may have a desire to restore justice, prove his strength, demonstrate his achievements, win where he once lost.

Such desires can be realized in different ways. Some will return to gloat, and some – to forgive.

Photo by Pixabay
  1. Vaccination against decreased motivation on the way to new goals.

You can often hear from motivational speakers and coaches that the “right” motivation is always the “k” motivation. In reality, something completely different can be observed. There is no right or wrong motivation. There is motivation that works. And there is one that doesn’t work. This is the only thing that determines its “correctness”, for example, from the point of view of positive science.

This is individual – motivation “to” is suitable for one, and motivation “from” is suitable for another. It depends on the situation and context. But in fact, the motivation “from” is often stronger and more effective.

At a conscious level, a person can think that he is moving towards a goal, going towards what he wants to achieve. However, this very goal, perhaps, was once born precisely from the insight “I don’t want that”. Moving “towards” the goal, a person actually draws strength from thought, how strongly, passionately, irresistibly he wants to move away from something.

Successful people who achieved big goals and impressive results, of course, knew what they wanted. But the driving force for some of them was what they did NOT want to leave in their lives.

In such cases, returning to the places where childhood passed is a kind of “vaccination against decreased motivation.” You need to look at what is left behind in order to find the strength to move forward again, to get confirmation that everything was done correctly.

  1. Increased loyalty and simple hype.

If we are talking about public people, this option cannot be ruled out either. Stories on the topic “Look, I lived so badly, I’m the same as you” can increase your rating, increase the number of likes, views, comments, subscribers. Revelations, demonstration of one’s simple and sometimes even unsightly past provide certain opportunities for speculation and manipulation.


When they want to come to the place where childhood passed, where it was fun, warm, good, calm, they just go there. They go there to stay there. Silently. No cameras.

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