Resolving past trauma can help parents break the cycle of negative attachment from one generation to the next. This post explains how self-reflection helps in resolving past trauma.

Resolving past trauma through self-understanding of this installment of Different Dream’s occasional series about parenting from the inside out. The previous article in the series, Attachment Categories in Adults and Inside Out Parenting, described the four basic kinds of attachments children will develop depending on how they are parented: secure, avoidant, ambivalent, and disorganized.

It also explained how the attachment style parents developed as children can impact how they parent their own children:

  • Securely attached children become securely attached adults.
  • Avoidantly attached children become dismissive adults. 
  • Ambivalently attached children become preoccupied adults.
  • Disorganizedly attached children become disorganized adults burdened with unresolved trauma.

You can read more about each attachment category and their effects on parenting in the previous post in this series.

The good news is that by resolving past trauma through self-understanding, adults who are dismissive, preoccupied or disorganized can change the way they parent and help their children create secure attachments. Here’s what Daniel Siegel has to say about this good news in his excellent book, Parenting from the Inside Out:

“Research in the field of child development has demonstrated that a child’s security of attachment to parents is very strongly connected to the parent’s understanding of their own early life experiences. Contrary to what many people believe, your early experiences do not determine your fate. If you had a difficult childhood but have come to make sense of those experiences, you are not bound to re-create the same negative interactions with your own children.”

Parenting from the Inside Out also provides a list of self-reflection questions for resolving past trauma through greater self-understanding. You can download the questions by clicking this link: Resolving Past Trauma Through Self-Understanding.

While the questions are a good starting place in the process of resolving past trauma, professional help is sometimes needed. The next article in this series will review several therapy options for people looking for more support.

Inside Out Special Needs Parenting, Part 1
Inside Out Special Needs Parenting, Part 2
Inside Out Special Needs Parenting, Part 3
Inside Out Special Needs Parenting, Part 4
Inside Out Special Needs Parenting, Part 5
Inside Out Special Needs Parenting, Part 6
Inside Out Special Needs Parenting, Part 7

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Resolving past trauma can help parents break the cycle of negative attachment from one generation to the next. This post explains how self-reflection helps in resolving past trauma.

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