One of the guests in the BKNE group this month focuses on childhood trauma (amongst other things)
Terri Lee-Shield and Love School work with adults and children to help process past trauma, and very importantly in my opinion, looking at how we Parent.
I’ve read her most recent publication – It’s my book recommendation this month – and what strikes me is a couple of things:
- How we often have stuff from our childhood that sticks with us, and
- How we can repeat the mistakes our parents made.
Which links me to the work we are doing at “Be Kind. No Excuses”.
Essentially, our book and our parenting workshops are in place to Prevent abuse happening to our teenagers from the obvious source – a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner. And that is all well and good. But, have you considered where those patterns, the learned behaviour and the “people pleaseing” comes from?
We all have our own little quirky families, the “weird” stuff that we consider normal, that causes others to lift an eyebrow! but have you considered that within your family there are possibly the building blocks that lead to a person becoming easy prey for an abuser?
Call it “conditioning” perhaps?
What do you say to your children when they do something you disagree with? What happens if you catch them doing something you consider to be “naughty”? Is there a discussion? Is there a punishment? Perhaps there is both.
Do you say the following:
“You’ll do as you’re told”
“My roof, my rules”
“Wait til your father gets home”
Do you hear your own parent coming out of your mouth?
Now I don’t want to tell you how to be a parent, I’m no expert, but I do know this: if a child perceives their actions to be something you’d disagree with, and they think they will be punished, they aren’t going to tell you anything.
And that is the horror of it! An abuser will persuade their “prey” to keep what is happening a secret. Or they will threaten to disclose whatever “it” is, and the victim will end up at the wrong end of the parental caring scale.
My job as a parent is to keep my children safe. I can’t do that if they are not telling me what is going on in their lives. So make sure you’re listening when they’re telling you the little things and you react appropriately, otherwise they won’t tell you the big stuff.