As a parent, do you ever wonder if you’re turning into your parents when you say or do certain things with your children? I know I do.
Obviously there are some values that you learn from your family dynamic that you want to pass down to your children. If you are a parent who went through some sort of trauma that was never dealt with as a child, it can come out in so many different ways. The pain that we feel, can unfortunately be passed on to our children. Children, like myself, growing up with immigrant parents from the Caribbean in Toronto, thought that therapy was either non-existent or It was for “crazy people”. Our parents believed that when you go through something, you have to just forget about it and move on. For generations, The black community has suffered trauma in silence and this has been the unfortunate cycle that we pass on without realizing. Growing up in turmoil becomes normal. This has resulted in estranged family and animosity towards one another. It makes us question ourselves as individuals, while the world already judges us for our culture and the colour of our skin.
Other BIPOC communities along with the LGBTQA+ community have also endured years of suffering in silence historically, and hate crimes are unfortunately on the rise. How do we get past these traumatic experiences? How do we teach our children to love themselves?
The generational trauma continues. There are so many damaged 7 year olds out there. I can definitely relate. Now that I brought this to your attention, what can you do about it? Here are some suggestions:
- Talk to someone you trust: This can be your spouse, a friend or a trusted family member
2. Get professional help: If you can afford it, look into a therapist
3. Talk to your family doctor: Find out what your options are.
4. Cognitive Therapy: Be your own therapist. Look into cognitive behavioral therapy
5. Write down your thoughts: This is very helpful for me. Writing down your thoughts can help you process how you’re feeling.
6. Support groups: Research virtual support groups based on what you’re going through.
7. Communicate with your children: Let them know when you’re feeling down. Teach them lessons by sharing experiences that you went through.
Raising children while dealing with your mental health is very difficult. You will have really bad days, and that’s normal. Break the cycle and work towards a better relationship with your children, yourself and your soul-group. It’s never too late!