September 24, 2023


“Children witnessing and being entangled in relationship drama between their parents is traumatising,” wrote Nedra glover Tawwab as she noted down situations that can add to the trauma.

Growing up in a dysfunctional household can affect the adult relationships that we have later in the life. Watching parents go through traumatic experiences with each other, and being a part of the same as a family can affect us mentally, physically and emotionally. While we learn to navigate through the trauma that we are exposed to in our childhood, we can carry a bit of it everywhere, and most importantly through the relationships we later make when we grow up. Growing up in families where fights and negative experiences are rampant can affect us extremely and that can be traumatising even for years after we have chosen to move out of the similar situations.

Nedra Glover Tawwab, author and family and marriage therapist is known for sharing insights on such family and childhood experiences on her Instagram profile on a regular basis. In her recent Instagram post, she addressed childhood trauma that comes from dysfunctional families and wrote, “Children witnessing and being entangled in relationship drama between their parents is traumatising.” Nedra further shared situations that elevate trauma for children as they grow up in between traumatising experiences with their parents:

Choosing: When the parents undergo a trauma within themselves, they often expose their children to the same where they ask them to choose one of them to love. This can be taxing for the children’s part, having to have grown up with both parents and now having to choose one of them.

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Not having a parent: Every child needs the parents’ back. In situations when they are put through trauma in the same household, they are made to be emotionally mature people when they do not have a parent to have their back in difficult situations.

During events: Especially during family events or programmes where people come with all of their family, watching the parents being separated and not having the entire family because of the dysfunctional trauma, can add to the trauma more.

Terrible things: When the parents go through dysfunctionality among themselves, they end up saying terrible things about each other to the children. Experiencing the same can be very difficult.

Adult relationships: This trauma can later transcend to trauma and dysfunctionality within ourselves when we do not know how to go about adult relationships later in our own life.

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