Parenting mistakes that can cause childhood trauma

The effects of childhood trauma are overly underestimated yet they are the causes of most of the societal ills we face. We have people who believe violence is the best solution when faced with conflict, and when we trace why they believe this, it is always evident that their childhood was filled with scenarios whereby instead of addressing their problems head-on they were made to believe violence is the only solution. We also have people with attachment issues, fails to commit or appreciate when love is being given to them and when we look into it, it can be noticed that they may have been shunned away from the love and attention they wanted from the persons they looked up to and in the end have developed a thick skin and a heart which will not acknowledge when they are being given love.

Going through one of my favorite Facebook group, “Reasoning Progressively”, I stumbled upon a post which addressed some of the parenting mistakes that can cause childhood trauma. I took the liberty to pick some of them and explain them in this post since I personally do feel we underestimate the effects of these and something has to be done. My hope is these will reach some and they will benefit from them by making changes in their parenting.

Achievements made by children must be acknowledged and due praise be given to them. This not only motivates the child but also make them feel good about themselves. They will also feel that they belong to the family. Imagine if a child has made an achievement and they are ignored and no praise is given to them. It is crystal clear the child will be demotivated, and they will question if they belong or doubt themselves.

Criticism and judgement is crucial but must be put on check. Too much of it will damage the child’s ego and confuse them. They will fear to make any decision on their own because they fear the criticism that may follow if they do. They will restrain themselves from learning to handle their own issues because they know there will always be a judgement that will follow if they do. Yes judgement and criticism can help shape a person but they need to be minimal and not always direct. In fact they can be made but in a more encouraging manner than discouraging.

Most parents have the urge to compare their children with their friends, cousins, neighbors and even each other. One thing that each and every parent must know and always remember is that people are different and so are children. Yes they may grow up in somewhat similar environments, same parents and going to the same schools but children do have differences. No child deserves to be compared to another child under no circumstances. They are diverse, they have different personalities and they react differently under different situations. Children who grow up being compared with other children tend to believe they should compete with others and lose the essence of life which is to be happy. They will grow up not knowing they are okay the way they are because they just want to out-do the others even if it means they will live a miserable life which has a beautiful outlook.

Favoritism among children is another parenting mistake which causes childhood trauma. Favoritism causes the less favored child or children to question their worth and relevance. They will think they are always short and this deals a great blow on their esteem. In other cases favoritism brews hate among siblings and children will grow up with no sense of unity.

Raising children with expectations that they will behave in some ways, will take care of you when they start working etc is a mistake in itself. Children are your responsibility, paying for their bills, raising them, feeding them are the duties of the parent. These duties should never be equated to some form of pay-back from the child. In our African society, our fathers had many children with the hopes that they will be taken care of by the children when they grow up, even if they did not look at the quality of education or living which they gave the children. The children would grow up to be mediocre individuals and because their parents expect them to take care of them, they would also fail to make any tangible progress in their lives. Some grown up people are haunted by this in that they have failed to achieve anything and they pass-on this button to their children, making this a generational button stick.

As parents, there is a need to admit that it is normal for one to have failed dreams and make peace with that without trying to impose those failed dreams on your children. This mistake is common especially on parents who failed or feel they could have done something better in their lines of profession. Yes is it admirable to wish a child would carry on their dreams but imposing them to the children is the worst thing. Every child must have the freewill to choose their own dreams or career paths. This will enable them to live their lives without feeling they are failing their parents.

Children who grow up getting little attention from their parents tend to have attachment issues when they are grown up. They do not know how it is like to be loved by their parents and in turn will fail to know what love is, resultably cannot render anyone some love. Such children when they grow up may end up having numerous baby mamas and children whom they do not feel the need to be attached to. This mistake can be the root cause of a generation of people who do not know or acknowledge love. Let alone the family institutions will suffer from this.

Children whose parents take their time to listen to their problems and give them emotional support develop a strong bond with their parents. A good relationship between parents and children is pivotal to their success generally in life and they will be able to maintain good relations with other people. It could be in school, work, romance or communities. With the changes in our economies, parents will spend most of their time at work but it is crucial that they make an effort to afford their children a portion of their time and show interest in knowing about how their children’s days were. This creates a room for children to be open and the parent will be there to offer the much deserved emotional support.

Parenthood…It’s about guiding the next generation, and forgiving the last.

Peter Krause


  1. Lack of Praise and Emotional Support. I realized just this year that that was/is the root of all the silent battles I’ve had over the years and to this very day.
    Thank you for sharing these.

    Liked by 1 person

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