When you think about your child experiencing trauma, you might think about something major such as abuse. While abuse of any type is certainly an example of childhood trauma, it's not the only one. There are several other ways in which your child can be traumatized, including for reasons that you create. Being a parent can be a challenge, but one of your duties is to give your child the best foundation possible, and that includes raising him or her in an environment devoid of trauma. Here are some things that could be traumatic for your child, and that you'll thus want to avoid.
Fighting With Your Spouse
It's all right for your child to see you and your spouse disagreeing occasionally, especially if the disagreement is civil. In such an environment, your child may actually learn how to disagree with others in an amicable fashion. It's not OK, however, to fight with your spouse in front of your child. This is especially true if the fight is loud and involves lots of personal insults that have nothing to do with the task at hand. A child wants his or her parents to be in control, and seeing them lose control in an upsetting argument can be highly traumatic for someone young.
Obsessing Over Money
Obsessing over money might not seem traumatic on the surface, but the reality is that if you're constantly stressed about your income versus your expenses, it can be traumatic for your child. Even a young child can sense when parents don't feel confident about their finances, and the thought of shaky finances can make your child concerned about what will happen. This is especially true if you or your spouse makes passing comments such as "lose the house" or something similar. Even if you're only being dramatic, your child can still develop trauma from this concern.
Talking About Bad News
The national and international news media is rife with stories that are upsetting to adults. It can be cathartic to talk about the major headlines with your spouse and visitors to your home, but if the discussion turns serious and upsetting, it's best to curtail it if your children are around. Talk of war, natural disasters, and other similar topics can be highly upsetting to any child, who will lack the context to understand both sides of the issue. For example, if you're talking about a hurricane, the child may develop an intense fear that the family will be killed by a hurricane. If you suspect that your child has been traumatized in any manner, schedule an appointment with a counselor as quickly as you can.Share