Trauma Recovery Enhanced by Good Parenting

I was reflecting recently on some of the young people with whom I’ve worked and the challenges they’ve faced.  Just a few of the more difficult issues are physical and sexual abuse, cutting, depression, and serious thoughts of suicide.

Despite these incredible challenges, many of them end up recovering really well from the traumas.  A number of factors play into recovery, but again and again, I’ve found that the best predictor of successful recovery from trauma is the quality of parenting they receive.  Parents who are sympathetic to what has happened and supportive of healing, while at the same time continuing to have realistic expectations of how they should behave, are crucial.

I’m thinking back to an adolescent girl I worked with a few years ago.  Within a short period, different boys sexually assaulted her more than once.  Understandably, she struggled mightily for a while and made some really poor choices, but eventually she did better and stopped seeing me.

Not long ago, her father contacted me and told me how fantastically she is doing.  As much as he wanted to give me the credit for her healing, I let him know that I don’t think she would have healed nearly as well had he and his wife not been such good parents and raised her to be resilient.

Her story and the stories of numerous other young people whose parents have had such a profound effect on the kids are what inspired me to start writing my blog.  My hope is that I’ll share information that’s interesting and helpful. If you want to comment, please do, even if you disagree.  If you think it’d be helpful to others you know, please share.  Regardless, thanks for subscribing!

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