CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

What You Feed Your Child Verbally, Mentally and Psychologically Shapes Them

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“You will always be a failure,” is what she was told by her mother when she could
not complete a mere mathematics assignment in class four.

It is scientifically proven that most of our decisions are shaped by our
subconscious mind, that being the part of the mind that is not in focal awareness.
For instance, a child that has been assaulted before can relive that instance when
subjected to familiar things that were present during the ordeal.

What parents need to know is everything you feed your child, not physically,but emotionally,
mentally and psychologically plays out in their life. It does so willingly and
unwillingly. Therefore, childhood trauma is the experience of an event by a child
that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and
physical effects.

Interpersonal trauma can be a result of something done to the child like emotional
abuse or something that does not happen like a child not being nurtured well. A
child’s brain grows rapidly until the age of three, which means that everything they
are subjected to in those first three years of life has an adverse effect on how the
child turns out to be.

Sometimes what parents do not understand is that they
project their own trauma to the kids. Things such as divorce affect children more
than you can imagine to the point where our generation is not keen on being in
marriages because most of us come from broken families.

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Parents that abuse drugs and alcohol are likely to have good intentions but once
the toxins are in their system, a different persona eludes their reasoning. They can
get very vulgar, violent and even miss a big part of their children’s childhood
because of the disconnection.

A child’s primary role model will always be the caregiver. If a child cannot successfully bond with their caregiver(s) then the child is likely to develop trust issues and low self-esteem because a child that is often
abused does not dislike the abuser, the child dislikes itself. The child will perceive itself as a failure.

All the children are depressed, if I do say so myself. Children, not the ones in
elementary but the ones in universities right now. People are always trying to
understand why depression and suicide rates are increasing rapidly, when they do
not even try to find the root cause.

You will hear our African parents saying things
like, ‘ukona depression juu huvaangi sweater,’ ‘depression ni ya wazungu.’ These
same parents tell you to always talk to them when you have a problem but the
moment you open up, all they can say is, ‘sasa utado?’

Parents need to be very keen on how they bring up their children. Making your
children pick sides after divorce is wrong. Telling your children they are a failure or
associated to the other parent when they don’t please you is wrong. Sexually,
physically and emotionally abusing your child is wrong. Calling your children
vulgar names when you are angry is wrong.

Although adults often say things like,
“He was so young when that happened. He won’t even remember it as an adult,”
childhood trauma can have a lifelong effect. And while kids are resilient, they’re
not made of stone. Traumatic events can affect how a child’s brain develops. And
that can have lifelong consequences.

Children brought up in violent homes are likely to respond in three ways. Child A
would likely be as violent as the parents were to the point where if they are not in
abusive relationships then they do not think their partner loves them. Child B
would likely to be against all forms of violence because seeing her mother crying
and wounded really hurt her and messed her up psychologically. Child C would
likely be cocktail of the two, depending on the situation that requires him to react
or relax.
The way we treat our children directly impacts what they believe about
themselves. So, being a parent does not mean taking your child to the best
schools in world and spoiling them, it is being there emotionally, psychologically,
mentally and physically. Your children need you more than you can imagine.

It is your duty as parents to ensure that you do not project the traumas you went
through to your offspring because the cycle will never end. Be the change, say no
to generational curses and be the parent you wanted to have when things were
not silky in your upbringing. Your child is not a failure.

“Adulthood is an attempt to become the antithesis of the wounded child within us.”
― Stewart Stafford

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