The Joy of Parenting and the impact of Trauma or Abuse

Parenting is the most significant job one will ever take on. At times, it can be the most challenging, but it is the most rewarding. When we first become parents, there is an overwhelming, indescribable feeling of joy, happiness and excitement. How we take on and perform in this role of parenting is determined by our makeup of past experiences our perception and knowledge. Sometimes when we have faced significant challenges from trauma or abuse it affects our various roles in life. In our brokenness, we sometimes can’t see beyond, to be a positive parent and support our children. Parenting through our brokenness and darkness can be detrimental to our children’s development. This doubles when our children too exposed to our trauma or abuse. When we are stuck in brokenness from its effects, the outlook in parenting will not feel rewarding.

There are many challenges that can cause us to lose our ability to parent effectively. This inability often leads to neglect of our children. When we don’t recognize our brokenness and the effects or seek support and services it becomes impossible to meet our children’s needs for their healthy development. There are many situations and incidents that will occur in our lives that will challenge our ability to parent. We may find ourselves in scenarios such as an abusive relationship where children are exposed decisions to stay or leave a situation where the effects of trauma on our psyche still linger. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as the “development after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events, such as a major stress, sexual assault, or other threats on a person’s life” ( Encyclopedia). The effects can cause feelings of depression and anxieties to name a few. In trying to manage and understand your feelings, loss and the grief we sometimes neglect our children. In struggling to manage, these feelings will sometimes cause reactions of anger and neglect towards our children. When these events occur in our lives, our children require special attention for them to feel secure. The impact for our children includes nightmares, displays of regression, bedwetting, aggressive behavior, use of drugs or alcohol to name a few.

Despite or own experiences and challenges of trauma or abuse parenting is rewarding. Watching our children grow, develop and meeting their milestone, is rewarding. To overcome the effects of trauma and abuse, it is vital to seek support and services, such as individual counseling, groups and support of families and friends. For your children, seek counseling such as play therapy, family therapy to name a few and involve them in sports and other activities. While working through the effects of trauma and abuse focus on your children, reassure them that you are there, and listen to them and their concerns. Be positive as much as needed because our children often mirror our behavior. Remember, each child is different, no set solutions, but feelings of security are needed for all.The