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Parenting with PACEs. PACEs science & stories. Trauma-informed change.

Healing From Intergenerational Trauma, Become Better Future Parents []


By Raymond Tran, Art by Angela Liang, November 14, 2021

Intergenerational trauma, which can also be referred to as trans- or multigenerational trauma, is defined as “trauma that gets passed down from those who directly experience an incident to subsequent generations.” Intergenerational trauma may begin with a traumatic event affecting an individual or traumatic events affecting larger groups of people, from families to racial groups. Left alone, this cycle of trauma continues. In order to become better parents for the next generation, we must first understand our trauma, heal from it, and cultivate a parenting style that implements the change necessary to break that cycle.

Trauma is more than just experiencing life-threatening situations. It can form from smaller-scale incidents and can exist without being noticed. Whether it’s constantly being criticized as a child or growing up in a home unaccepting of one’s identity, trauma can formno matter the parents’ intentions.

For example, individuals who experienced the effects of war from a young age may become emotionally distant as a coping mechanism. Therefore, when this individual is emotionally distant with their family, that relationship may cause issues for those on the receiving end.

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