The struggles of parenting when traumatized

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      The struggles of parenting when traumatized

      Trauma negatively impacts a person’s affect regulation, as in their ability to regain balance when emotions become activated or stirred up. Those who have experienced trauma and are still grappling with trauma symptoms when they become triggered can face huge challenges in coming back to a more calm and logical state when something has activated their trauma, putting them into the stress response.

      Being in the stress response creates an intense surge of strong emotions and an urgent need to either fight or flight, or freeze. Any of these responses are very difficult to manage when parenting children. Children are very attuned to our emotional state and can themselves become highly emotionally activated and distressed when they pick up on their parent’s distress.

      What helps? Identifying that you’re triggered is a big step in the right direction. We can’t resolve a problem until it’s recognized. In fight, flight or freeze, we either want to go into hyper drive trying to fix the problems, or we want to run away, or we become paralyzed in a frozen state of dissociation. So recognizing that trauma is activated and that we’re operating form that state helps us come back to realizing that the focus needs to be on coming back to a more solid and settled state. This is of course difficult, but at least knowing that this is where we need to get to can bring back a little bit of clarity and a sense of focus and purpose.

      What works for you?
      What helps you come back to a more solid and settled state when you become triggered?

      If you haven’t already, perhaps go to the resource library and listen to the audios; “parenting when overwhelmed” and “why we explode and how to prevent it”.

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