Parenting is not easy. Parenting is one of the hardest and one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have in their life. Mothers and fathers with trauma backgrounds have special challenges when it comes to parenting.
Research shows that parents who experience substance abuse, depression or PTSD as a result of their trauma histories are at greater risk of struggling with their parenting skills. This can result in an increased likelihood of using more punitive, aggressive, physical discipline and experiencing decreased parenting satisfaction, and child neglect.
Many parents believe that safety and unconditional love is the best things that we can offer their children but in the words of a well known psychologist, Carl Jung- “Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent”.
There is nothing that a parent wouldn’t do for their child but one of the greatest gifts that any parent can give their children is to be a happy, fulfilled and a whole person in their own right. One of the bravest things that a parent can do is heal from their own trauma. Parents can break the cycle of inter-generational trauma by allowing children to be free from having to be caregivers and healers of their parents which simultaneously allows children to be free to be themselves.
Whether you have experienced trauma as a child, a adult or both it is okay to make mistakes, to know your triggers and to let yourself heal. Parents healing from trauma often believe that a happy childhood should be easy. But they are not. Healthy families struggle and happy kids struggle. And just because kids are having a hard time doesn’t always mean that something bad is happening to them.
Parents who rise to the occasion and give their children what they never got as children are heroes. In fact, its unfortunate but if you are doing your job well no one may ever know-it is invisible. If you are injured and recover and run a race you will be cheered on but if you recover from a emotional injury such as trauma and parent well no one will ever know. Nobody may even cheer you on. We work with parents who are healing from trauma and see the courage and bravery it takes. In fact, many people come to treatment because they want to be better parents and have healthier families.
We know how to help you! Call for your appointment today. Call Angi Smith, LMHC at 503-314-9337.