What you experienced as a child, you will bring with you as an adult. Childhood experiences are what shape an individual. May it be a positive outlook or an I-hate-the-world-because-it –caused-me-so-much-pain philosophy.
A German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst, named Erik Erikson, most famous for his psychosocial development theory recognizes eight stages an individual must pass through from infancy to late adulthood. Erikson believes that each child must master each stage in order to become a dynamic and well-balanced member of our society. The first psychosocial stage, for example, is trust versus mistrust, which spans from birth to about age one year of the child. According to Erikson, the child must at this stage learn to trust others as it is the first essential step to have a loving and successful relationship with others and for the child to have a positive self-image growing up. Completion of these eight stages, Erikson believes will ensure the individual’s success and good life.
- Your childhood is the precursor of your adulthood.
The personality and traits of an adult and matured individual come from the childhood experiences they went through way back. Are you familiar with the saying, “The difference between boys and men is the size of their toys”? This is true in psychology, as a person will always try to fulfill his childhood yearnings when he becomes an able adult, wherein his actions become acceptable by society and its culture.
- Childhood experiences impact how you will parent your child.
Most of you say, “I will be like my parents when I have kids of my own.” This could be a good thing if the parents are kind and loving, however, if you have a deadbeat of a father and an addict of a mother, how will you turn out to be? Some turn out to be the best parents in the world thinking that they will never let their kids experience the trauma and hurt they felt as a child. However, for some, they think that having kids of their own is their chance to “get revenge” from what happened to them.
- Childhood experience affects future success.
According to a study conducted at the University of Illinois, children who witness mild to moderate conflict between their parents involving compromise and positivity, become more sociable, has positive self- regard and emotional security. With these skills, these children tend to fare better in school and in the long run have more chances of being successful.
When parents fight in front of their kids, many shake their heads. However, recent studies have shown that parental withdrawal is actually more disturbing to their children’s adjustment than when parents openly have the conflict. The explanation behind this is that children can perceive that there is something wrong, leading to stress however they couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it is, making it harder for them to cope. Chronic stress and frustration results to anxious, behaviorally- challenged and academically struggling kids.
- Take the straight path or travel the crooked one.
Research conducted in adolescent students of a school in the US showed that childhood trauma increased the illegal use of drugs by age 15. It also contributed to the high likelihood of teen pregnancies and suicide attempts.
This is a big problem our society must address. People who genuinely care about these people who are prone to take the crooked path in life because of their childhood experiences must have a good guide on addiction and childhood PTSD can be stopped.