Women who were raised in homes that were in any way abusive or neglectful may find themselves doubting their own parenting skills.
When we become mothers, we truly don’t know the challenges that await us. When women aren’t confident in their parenting, they resort to unhealthy ways to discipline and speak to their children. This comes from desperation and a loss of what to do in a healthy way because it wasn’t done for you. Even though you’re now an adult with kids of your own, it can seem almost impossible to move on from the abuse you endured as a child. No matter the form it took, child abuse is abhorrent yet way too common.
Childhood Abuse Doesn’t Just Go Away
Abuse can happen in many ways and the effects of abuse can cut deep into a person’s soul. When a mom grows up in a home where the people in her life who were supposed to love her the most, don’t treat her properly, her own value of self-worth is low. This can affect the way you parent and leave you feeling lost on how to even love your children properly. The more extreme it is, the harder it is to recover.
Here are some forms of child abuse:
- Sexual Abuse-More common among girls than boys and is often committed by a family member or friend. Childhood sexual abuse is highly studied and has long-lasting ill effects on the victim.
- Physical Abuse-Children of both genders are equally likely to be victims. Can be spanking, but also hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.
- Neglect– The most common form of childhood abuse and described as a failure to provide adequate care and safety for your child. It can be physical neglect of basic items for a child or emotional neglect.
- Verbal Abuse-When parent says mean and hateful things to their child; name-calling, put-downs, mocking, etc.
Moms Self-Doubt Leads To Issues
Child abuse follows its survivors into adulthood which can result in PTSD and lifelong issues with self-doubt in many aspects of their life, including motherhood. A 2015 study originally published in the journal Child Maltreatment found that mothers who experienced previous abuse thought of themselves as worse mothers than peers who didn’t experience past maltreatment.
Research also indicated women who are victims of severe childhood abuse and maltreatment have the most problems parenting.
They often just don’t believe they can do it well.
Lead researcher Louisa Michl from the University of Rochester writes of the study:
“Our research shows that self-criticism leads to lower confidence in parenting abilities in previously maltreated mothers and this was true in non-depressed moms as well as depressed mothers,”
Moms who survived childhood abuse are advised to seek the advice of a therapist or find other ways to come to terms with what happened to them. Your children shouldn’t be the ones to endure the results of your abuse.
Source: Vet Med, SAGE Journals, Futurity