How Does One Parent Well When Raised in Hell?
What it mean to be a break-the-cycle parent in practical terms? How do adverse childhood experiences impact adults who become parents?
We hope our children never share our landscape of loss or know the second skin that is shame. We don’t want them to know how home, body and family can also be the scene of the crime.
We want our children to feel at home in a safe and loving world even though it is not the one where we are from.
How do we teach and guide them? How do we create something new and different? All parents want to protect children from abuse, neglect and household dysfunction. But that doesn’t always happen.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are common.
Sometimes our hopes don’t match our abilities. Sometimes our children are hurt by others or from our own addiction, illnesses, choices and circumstances. Sometimes we were less capable than we hoped, planned or wanted.
- How can we teach them the rules of the road if we’re too afraid to drive?
- How can we teach what we didn’t learn?
- We can’t tell them to feel safe if we’re afraid all of the time.
We need to communicate with others straddling two worlds. We need to keep each other aware and awake and motivated where we can talk honestly about the process. We need to be able to talk about and ask:
- What is healthy attachment and affection?
- How can I teach my kid to assert her needs if I still have trouble doing so?
- Does discipline always feel mean?
- Do others worry that all anger is abusive?
- If, when and how can we tell our children about our own past and what’s the impact if and when we do… or do not.
It shouldn’t be easier to find gluten-free recipes than to have conversation and get support about break-the-cycle parenting.
Adverse Childhood Experiences are common. Many of us are facing this issues as parents.
We want our children to be and feel safe in their skin, home, families and the world. Let’s share about how that happens. Let’s talk about lessons learned, what is wonderful as well as what is hard.
I write on this topic generally, and often, but more specifically here.