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2. Know Thy Parent’s Trauma

The influence of parents is pivotal in child development in cognitive skills, behaviors, social skills, coping skills, and general security.  Therefore it is essential to understand our parent’s story and their trauma to gain a greater understanding of ourselves.  How did their own traumatic experiences influence how they parented us?  How did they model coping skills to us?  As we seek a greater understanding of our functioning in life, it is crucial to trace the roots of the previous generations so that we come to understand some of our beliefs resulting from our parent’s traumatic experiences.  For example, was one of your parents abused, and how does that impact how they under or over-protected us?  Did your parents experience a significant loss that they were never allowed to process?  Was your parent able to handle your losses as a child in a nurturing way, or were you forced to take care of their feelings? Although understanding the traumas of our parents is essential in unraveling our own unhealthy beliefs and coping skills, it does not negate their responsibility to pursue healing for themselves.  Our role is not to devalue our pain because of our parent’s pain, but we can more effectively heal when we understand them and, in turn, understand how to create a healthy foundation based on truth and not our parent’s trauma.