A reader suggested that I write a blog post on today’s topic after I suggested Y’all to send me topics to discuss on the blog. Growing up Nigerian, a lot of things happen to you as a child that you either ignore, acknowledge, accept or deny depending on your upbringing or who your guardian is. Also, because of the normative culture of respect, a lot of abuse (sexual, human and emotional ) goes on unchecked, thereby allowing a child to grow with so many unanswered questions.
I want to believe that if our parents/guardians knew better in those circumstances, they would have done what was best for their children or wards. However, there are exceptional cases of humans who are outrightly wicked, and this behavior is not limited to Nigerians alone.
In a recent book, I read by Meera Lee Patel called “My friend Fear” she notes that parents never carry out these actions intentionally but do because they fear children will make irreparable mistakes. However, this usually backfires because some children grow up with apprehension towards their parent’s attitude. Some rebel just to spite their parents and end up hurting themselves in the long run. Others grow with a warped mentality towards abuse because it became a normalized experience of their childhood.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are the blessed few who grew up in a loving home who fare better in the long run, than those in unfair environments. For example, statistics by the National Foster Youth Institute for the United States show that 25 per cent of children who grow up in foster care have PTSD and 3 per cent of that population earn a college degree. Compared to those who grow in more stable environments according to Pew research data.
Education and awareness is the most common way to break this cycle, but that does not take away the role of discipline in a child’s upbringing. Issues arise from discipline if children are not aware of why the need for that line of action, and given the opportunity to reflect on it. Other ways of balancing training a child or trauma from childhood abuse are discussing personal experiences with a safe group, or reporting abuse to relevant authorities.
It is also important, that, we do not hurt people because of our own experiences. Seeking help from experts on relevant subjects and fields is a commendable road to healing. Remember, if you survived past experiences, and you are reading this, you are stronger than your fears.
What other actions do you recommend to deal with childhood trauma or upbringing