Conflicts in the Child’s Soul Book Summary

In his book Conflicts in the Child’s Soul, renowned psychoanalyst Carl Jung examines children’s inner conflicts as they grow and develop.

By exploring these conflicts and their underlying causes, Jung offers valuable insight into why children behave the way they do.

This blog post will discuss Jung’s key points from this groundbreaking text.

The Soul

Jung believes that a child’s soul is in a state of flux during childhood as it attempts to make sense of its environment.

This process can be tumultuous and often results in inner struggles between the conscious and unconscious minds.

As a result, children may struggle with guilt or shame over something that is not necessarily wrong or bad.

Rather, it is something new and unfamiliar to them.

External Influences

In addition to exploring these internal struggles, Jung delves into how external influences—such as family dynamics or societal expectations—can cause further conflict in a child’s soul.

For example, he notes that if parents have too strict of expectations for their child, such as expecting them consistently to get perfect grades or excel in sports despite little natural aptitude for either, then this can lead to feelings of inadequacy and frustration in the child.

Similarly, if a child is exposed to negative messages from peers or society at large (i.e., “boys don’t cry”), this can also lead to inner turmoil within their soul.

Emotional Health

Jung argues that these conflicts are essential for developing a healthy psyche.

By facing these challenges head-on and working through them with love and understanding from an adult figure (parent/guardian/teacher), a child can learn how to manage their emotions better and develop coping mechanisms for future challenges they may face down the road.

He emphasizes that it can be difficult at times to help our children through their struggles.

It is ultimately necessary for them to grow up into emotionally healthy adults.


In Conflicts in the Child’s Soul, Carl Jung offers an insightful view into why children behave the way they do.

From exploring inner turmoil caused by conflicting desires between conscious and unconscious minds to examining how external influences such as family dynamics or societal norms can contribute further conflict within a child’s soul—Jung provides valuable insights every parent should take note of when raising their own children.

Despite being written nearly 100 years ago, many of his ideas remain as relevant today as ever.

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