No Bad Seeds In Our Kids

complex developmental trauma no bad kids Feb 22, 2024

Dear Parents,

What the heck is Complex Developmental Trauma anyway? That is what most of our kids are experiencing— attachment trauma and maltreatment trauma that interrupts basic emotional development and causes chronic hyper-vigilance and dependence on survival strategies.  The strategies are varied and overlapping, but are designed to deal with the stressors of life.

Unfortunately, one of the primary ways our kids learn to cope is by internalizing the angry, powerlessness they felt as children and turning it against themselves or you. You may have noticed a flipping back and forth between the all bad self and the all bad other. That is what I am talking about.  These split off parts are destructive to the fabric of their identity and can cause a life trajectory change for the worse.

What can you do, as a parent?

Take this deep into your parent heart: There are no bad kids.  When your child does something you might ordinarily say is "bad."  Tell yourself the truth about the behavior: This is a result of a neurodivergent trauma brain.  S/he can't help it right now. 

Severe punishment will only make it worse.  The best tools for disciple: relationship, compassion, natural consequences.

Love matters,


P. S. For an easy to read parent pick me up, get Ce's book, Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents. If you're looking for a quick pick-me-up or a gift for someone you love, visit our Love Matters Swag Store! And, did you know Ce has a new podcast? Yep, you can subscribe to it here: UnMuted Love Podcast with Ce Eshelman. For a comprehensive therapeutic parenting program, check out the Love Matters Parenting Society.  Coming soon: Love+ Self-Care App.  Woot!

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