Facing childhood trauma often follows someone to later manifest in your parenting. Those traumatic experiences from your childhood can negatively affect your parenting and need a lot of work to get over. Otherwise, you could then project to your children and also cause them childhood traumas too. In this article, learn more about how it may affect your parenting and how to cope up.
Some of these horrific childhood traumatic and stressful events that can affect parenting include; Sexual or physical abuse, rape, kidnapping, car or plane crashes, war, natural disasters like hurricanes or floods, shootings like drive-by’s or school shootouts, witnessing of murder, crimes or death scenes among others. Another type of childhood hardship that majorly, hurts the family includes divorce, separation of parents, substance abuse by parents at the homestead and also living with a parent with mental illness.
Research also reveals that early childhood trauma is a risk factor that leads to behavioral health problems in adulthood. It also explains that the long-term behavioral health harms of childhood adversity tend to extend across generations from parent to child. Children of parents who’ve been through four or more bad childhood experiences are at a high risk of developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) and are four times more likely to get mental health problems at some point.
These ugly childhood experiences on a mother may also have more effect on the child’s behavioral health as compared to the father. Parents who went through toxic childhood experiences are also more likely to have higher levels of aggravation as parents and are likely to develop mental health problems too. However, mental health problems caused by bad childhood experience is just a small part of factors that lead to some of these bad parenting behaviors that are harmful to the kids.
It’s also advisable to have a standardized assessment of parents for adverse childhood experiences during their child’s pediatric health visits because it tends to help in noticing the kids who are at a higher risk hence connecting them to services that might reduce their risk or prevent behavioral health problems.
Some of the traumatic parenting behaviors apart from mental health problems include mistreating your children, paying less attention to them, being abusive to them, and other horrible activities. Some children are sexually mistreated even raped but their parents stay quiet because it’s something they also go through
Try as much as possible to spread positivity and love throughout your life, and extend it to your kids too. Keep your kids far away from the same bad childhood traumatic events you went through. Don’t let it affect your family because it’s a strong bond that can truly be chaotic if not broken.
How to cope and improve in your parenting
If you are a mother who is going through this and it’s affecting your parenting and family negatively, try and take their reactions seriously. Try to heal in the following ways. Be keen on correcting any misinformation about the traumatic events you went through, and seek therapy. If your children have been getting affected, here are ways to get them off. Try harder to make sure that you help your child learn to relax, encourage them to practice slow breathing, listen to calming music, or say positive things like “I am in a safe and comfortable space right now.”
Changing an environment to avoid the scene of the traumatic event might also help bring a positive change and help reduce those bad memories. A fresh start sometimes is all it takes to help your child stay far away from being affected by your childhood trauma.
Taking a walk at the beach or in a naturally serene environment can help relax, and both you and your child will be able to heal from some of those bad experiences. Generally, if there’s something that you might prefer doing to help heal and prevent that negative impact on you and your child well, go for it. Don’t let it have a long-term effect on your generation.
In case you don’t know what is child trauma, click here to learn more about it.