7 Ways To Manage Childhood Trauma

If childhood trauma is left unresolved it can rear its ugly head in adulthood. However, many parents and teachers operate under the misconception that if a child doesn’t seem to be bothered by an event, they have not really been traumatized by it.

Children do not have the emotional maturity or the verbal capacity to express how they feel, however, this doesn’t mean that they have avoided being traumatized by something they have experienced. In this article, we will guide you through some of the best practices to manage childhood trauma.

What causes childhood trauma?

Childhood trauma can occur due to any number of reasons. It refers to any type of event that makes the child feel helpless and unsafe. Most commonly childhood trauma is associated with physical, verbal, or sexual abuse, witnessing domestic violence, experiencing bullying, bereavement or serious illness, or growing up in an unsafe environment. 

If you are living with the consequences of the childhood trauma or you know somebody, who is, you should know that there is hope of things getting better.

Here are just some of the ways you can overcome childhood trauma.

overcoming childhood trauma

1. Acknowledge your trauma

People who have experienced childhood trauma either block the event out of their memory entirely or spend the rest of their lives minimizing its effect and pretending that it was not a big deal. Some even blame themselves for what has happened. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step towards healing; so be brave and face your past so that you can be free from it in the future.

2. The mind of a victim

Many people who have gone through childhood trauma cannot stop feeling helpless even when they become adults. As a result, they perpetually feel like they are a victim which causes them to make unhealthy choices. If you always feel like a victim, you feel that you do not have control of your own life.

In order to get rid of this mentality and heal the pain, you need to realize that as an adult you and only you are in control of your life.

3. Don’t push people away

Adults who survived childhood trauma tend to push their friends and loved ones away and isolate themselves, which is not a healthy thing to do. Engaging with the people who love you is a big part of the healing process. So, even if you don’t initially feel like it, make a conscious choice to maintain a good relationship with your real friends.

But sometimes even the best friends who have the best of intentions cannot help you deal with your childhood trauma. In this case, it becomes necessary to reach out to a qualified mental health professional. Do not be embarrassed to open up; there are millions of people out of there who have experienced a traumatic event, there is no shame in trying to deal with it.

4. Take care of your body

Healthy body healthy mind, as they say. You will increase your mental ability to deal with stress if you take care of your body. Follow a healthy daily routine (which includes plenty of rest time), maintain a healthy diet, and exercise on a regular basis. And, last but not least, avoid harmful substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. They might numb the pain for a day but they are extremely harmful in the long-term to both your mental and physical health.

5. Be patient

If you have been hurt in childhood then your emotional balance as an adult will be disturbed. You might experience extreme emotions such as hopelessness, chronic depression, and so on. These scars run deep and cannot be got rid of in just a week or two. So, it is important to keep your eye on the target and appreciate even the smallest progress you make.

Remember: a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single tiny step; so as long as you are patient, determined, and keep working on yourself you will eventually achieve a desirable result (even if it takes longer than you hoped for don’t stop).

6. Out with the old in with the new (habits)

Identify your bad habits and try to replace them with new better ones. Even if you can’t get rid of all of your bad habits at once start with the easiest one; it will make you feel better about yourself. 

Sometimes people who have been through childhood trauma develop bad habits to distract themselves from the painful memories of the past. If you think that your bad habits are too powerful to break and you can’t manage to do it on your own then, by all means, seek the support of a qualified therapist. 

However, just getting rid of bad habits won’t do, you also have to take up some new good ones (going to the gym, cooking healthy homemade meals, etc.). It is important to keep yourself busy by doing something productive.

How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime | Nadine Burke Harris

7. Let go of your past

I know, it’s easier said than done, but if you want to have a healthy and happy future you have to find a way to let go of the past. Just because you accept the fact that you have experienced childhood trauma doesn’t mean that you agree with it or embrace it. On the contrary, acceptance means that you have made a decision to deal with it, you have decided not to let it ruin the rest of your life. And deciding to let it go doesn’t mean that it will just disappear in an instance; letting go means drawing a line between the past and the future, it means not allowing the events of your childhood to affect how you will live your life from now on.

These are some techniques you can try to deal with childhood trauma, either for yourself or for your students; however, this is just the beginning. And don’t forget that no matter what, you should always consult a specialist. They will be able to unearth and help you deal with mental issues you did not even realize were there. But no matter which way you decide to go about it, as long as you stay hopeful and determined, you will achieve your goal.


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Nicole helps parents obtain the education and skills needed to raise physically, psychologically, and emotionally healthy children. She works with public and private schools in Philadelphia, in a variety of settings to assist parents in understanding the development of their child and approaches to behavior management, and/or serve as an advocate for the child and family in stressful or transitional situations.

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