Prashant, frequently saw his father physically abuse his mother. Being a child, he was unable to help his mother. When this mother asked for help from her relatives, she was shunned, after being told that it must have been her fault and that it is acceptable for women in their society to get hurt and abused. Prashant would often see his father coming home drunk and brutalizing his mother and him. When Prashant grew up and married, he continued the pattern he had seen between his parents. Everyone who knew Prashant had started calling him a monster. Like his father, Prashant had trouble with domestic disputes and frequently yelled to make his point. He used physical violence to discipline his children. Prashant’s story is not so uncommon in Indian households.
55 percent of respondents to a TNT poll of 50 adults between the ages of 18 and 35 revealed that their parents had verbally abused them, while around half of the participants stated that their parents had physically punished them. If you are a 90s child or even an 80s child, you know what I am talking about. The British idea of “spare the rod, spoil the child” had become so normalized in Indian parenting that parents forgot that when they got brutal.
Now that we know what happened to us was wrong what can we do to break the pattern? How do we stop getting hurt by what happened to us and more importantly avoid passing on our parents’ dysfunctional habits (harsh as it may sound) to the future generation?
1. Acknowledge the pain
It’s okay if you’re hurting. The past is gone, and it won’t repeat itself. Look to the future and realize going forth anything and everything that happens to you is your decision and your own doing. Feel empowered by the accountability that you now hold.
2. Realize that parents were human beings too
Indian parenting enforces that we should not question our parents or our elders. While it does help us control our impulses around people, it also makes us put our parents on a pedestal that blinds us to their imperfections. Disappointment sets in when we notice these imperfections. The best thing to ask yourself is if you have survived a certain number of years, there must be something right that they would have done. In an era when infant mortality was so high, the least you can do is be grateful that your parents financed your livelihood and kept you alive.
3. Accept your parents’ flaws and forgive
Changing your perception can help you forgive your parents. You will realise that if they did something wrong, there are always some things that they did right. Look for instances where they supported you. There could be instances where your mother prepared Dahi – chini before exams or maybe your father dropped you at school. They may have been regular at attending your annual concerts every year or maybe even did something as small as preparing rotis for dinner and celebrating your birthday. You also need to ask if your parents too were victims of abuse and the circumstances that they lived in.The moment you start to see your parents as fallible human beings are when you will realize that you have stopped suffering.
4. Acknowledge your mistake
When it comes to our relationships, we often end up taking people to whom we are closest, for granted. It could be your spouse, your children or even your parents. The same pattern is, however, not repeated with a person with whom we share a more formal relationship. Think about it, when was the last time you yelled at your boss or your colleague? Imagine if we are just as accepting of our family’s flaws, there are chances that you would have been able to maintain a healthier relationship with them. Acknowledging your mistake and apologizing (even to your kids!) will get you more respect than you realize.
5. Charity begins at home
Remember how your parents would often compare you to the neighborhood infamous – Gupta Ji ka ladka, to get you to do something. To get your child to cultivate a positive habit, you need to cultivate the habit yourself first. You are your child’s first role model. Want your son to get up early in the morning and go for a run? Begin by doing it yourself first. A child observes his parents and learns. Walk the talk before making anything a rule.
6. Teach your children to forgive
When you learn to forgive, you also teach your children to forgive your mistakes. The important thing, however, is that you acknowledge your mistake by saying sorry. Parenting does not come with a memo; therefore, you may have made a mistake during your course of life.
7. Seek Therapy
Finally, if your childhood experiences are casting a shadow on your present. If traumatic experiences are still making you dysfunctional then it’s time that you seek therapy. Look for a counsellor suitable to your needs and begin therapy for childhood trauma. You save a lot of pain not just for yourself but also for your family.
It’s never too late to start something positive. The more you blame others or you’re past, the more you will find yourself in shackles. Moving on is difficult but not impossible. Taking charge of your action empowers you to get control over your impulses and behaviour. Psychological discomfort can result from unhelpful ways of thinking and doing. Besides, taking accountability only empowers. So, make a positive choice and forgive or seek therapy!
How Online Counselling can help treat Childhood Trauma
OnlineCounselling4U is the most effective online counselling and therapy consultation platform in India and worldwide. Consult with the top counsellors, psychologists, therapists, and mental health specialists online by chat, phone, or video call for Childhood Trauma. There are experts in this platform that can handle a variety of mental health issues and disorders. You may get assistance from our empanelled online counsellors who will listen to your problems and provide suggestions, suited to your circumstances. These services are available through chat, email, voice calls, and video calls. Now you may get expert help while relaxing in the comfort of your own home.
Call us to book a session today.
Contact us at +91 9811335150
Email us – email@example.com