As the term suggests, childhood trauma describes a person’s negative experiences during childhood that affect their life as an adult. This includes any event, action or instance that threatens the mental and physical well-being of the child.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years).
This may include: experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect, witnessing violence in the home or community, or a family member attempting suicide or dying.
From physical, verbal, sexual to emotional abuse, many factors can contribute to a child’s mental and emotional instability.
However, it is important to note that childhood trauma is not simply a consequence or consequence of abuse. Instead, it may be due to a number of other things that we take lightly or overlook, for example being deprived of emotional support.
Children are vulnerable, they are innocent and unlike adults, they do not have the capacity to express their needs and wants. They have their battles to fight and are constantly looking for ways to find support and feel secure. If parents fail to provide them with comfort and protection, it can put a dent on their mental health and if this continues, it can be painful for them.
Hiding Your True Self Can Be Painful for Even a Child
From an early age, children are introduced to the world of dos and don’ts. They are asked to behave according to socially constructed roles and must obey what is widely expected of them. In an attempt to live up to people’s expectations, children often try to hide their true self, take the guise of something they are not and pretend to be someone’s self so that they can be liked and their to be appreciated.
With this double life that they live, they constantly have to bear the burden to prove themselves, compete, even if it is not something they want.
All these things can have an effect on the mind of the child. This can be painful for them and shape their personalities as adults.
How parents can prevent childhood trauma
The CDC says that adverse childhood experiences and traumas are preventable.
“We must understand and address the factors that put people at risk for violence or protect them from violence,” the US Health Agency recommends.
“Creating and maintaining safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families can prevent ACEs and help all children reach their full potential,” the expert adds.
Overall, parents should support their children, encourage communication and most importantly create a safe space for their children to grow.