“Both in my work as a child psychotherapist and personally as a survivor of childhood abuse, I’ve seen what a difference these “ones” can make to a child who is living with domestic violence. Children are resilient. They can survive and even thrive after unthinkable trauma. But that resilience generally comes from having a caring adult in their life who supports them and helps them make sense of the situation. “
Of course, we can’t “fix” everything for an abused child. That work will take time, and effort, and resilience. But we can all be a source of care, support and encouragement, even if it’s only in the short term. It’s those adults who model that kind of behavior that children can learn the opposite lessons that the abuse has taught them. In the midst of believing that I had done something to deserve the childhood abuse, it’s the people who told me how good I was, how smart and talented I was who gave me something to latch on to going forward.
Of course, those adults also didn’t know about the abuse, so stop and think about that whenever you’re dealing with a child. You don’t know which kids are dealing with trauma at home, why not encourage all of them?