Effects of Trauma on Children Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1071 Words
Date:  2022-07-01


Trauma refers to a disturbing or an extremely stressing experience that faces people. More often children are exposed to complex trauma as they constantly get exposed to recurring traumatic experiences in the environment they grow. The experiences tend to be severe and traumatizing such as child abuse, child neglect, or the exposure to extreme family disputes. The exposure creates a long-term effect on the psychological well-being of these children (Brandt, Perry, Seligman, & Tronick, 2014). Most of the times these traumatizing experiences occur during the early stages of life, and as a result, it disrupts the development of the child and the recognition of oneself. As most of the experiences occur with the caregiver such as mothers, it impacts the child's ability to create a safe and secure bond therein. Moreover, most aspects that contribute to the healthy physical development and mental growth rely on the attachment the child creates worth the caregiver as it creates a source of safety and stability in their life. In this case, therefore, for the children that grow from families and homes that fail to provide them with comfort, love, protection, and consistent safety, it may affect their development. As a result, these children develop ways that enable them to cope and survive with the situation and thus causing adverse effects about emotional development, creating relationships, physical developments such as the body and brain, emotional responses, the future orientation, and their behavior therein. The paper relates the effects of trauma on children to the case of Laura as depicted in a chapter of the book titled, "The boy who was raised as a dog."

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Skin and Hunger

The chapter revolves around a four-year-old young girl named Laura, who tends to be having eating problems. It occurs that the child fails to receive proper nurturing from Virginia, the mother. It is evident as Laura only weighs 26 pounds and despite the continued efforts to feed Laura with calories tubes, she cannot gain any more weight. Laura's situation is caused by the trauma caused in the early childhood development since she was neglected by her mother when she was an infant (Perry, & Szalavitz, 2017). Virginia gave birth to Laura at the age of 18. Although Virginia knew her rights as a mother is to love and show care to Laura, she experienced emotional breakdown and thus abandoning her child as an infant. Ideally, Virginia also experiences extreme trauma as a child as she was neglected at birth and was left under the care of various foster homes during her childhood. Following this experience, Virginia failed to have the chance to learn how to love, care, build attachments, or show affection to other people including her children. As a result, Virginia lacked the knowledge of how to love, care and nurture her daughter by physical contact and thus not to create a safe attachment. Furthermore, when infants fail to receive nurture through emotional and physical contact from the caregiver such as nursing, touch and being held, it affects their growth. This was the similar scenario that occurred to Laura when she was neglected by Virginia.

Laura's had a condition of failure to thrive which was diagnosed by Doctor Perry. Upon the diagnosis, Dr. Perry put Laura into feeding tubes, and after some visits, Dr. Perry requests Virginia to stay with Mamma P who was a foster mother, and she often brought some of her foster children that had been traumatized and mistreated (Perry, & Szalavitz, 2017). After agreeing to live with, Mamma P, Virginia learnt important parenting styles that would help to nurture Laura and other children in the future. It was evident since as time progressed, Virginia learnt useful skills that created improvements to the growth of Laura. Furthermore, Laura gained weigh by 10 pounds within one month after their relationship with Mamma P. Although there a bit of emotional disconnection between Virginia and Mamma P., Virginal was able to learn parenting skills that were useful in nurturing a baby boy that she delivered after moving out from Mamma P.'s.

Based on the relationship between Virginia, Laura, and Mamma P., there are five core components of Mamma P.'s therapeutic styles that clinicians can adopt in treating children facing trauma and also educating parents on the appropriate parenting skill necessary in nurturing their children. For instance, every child needs to be shown love and care. Traumatized children have already faced plenty of abuse, anger, and conflict in their lives. They need someone ready to create a loving environment (Brandt, et al 2014). Clinicians can help these children by creating a loving surrounding for the affected children. When these children feel loved, they will often respond to other medication therein. Secondly, it requires appropriate touch to create a safe and stable attachment. Clinicians can do this by getting close to the patients, speaking softly, and laughing together. Thirdly, it requires the need to create a sense of humor. The clinicians need to laugh with the patients as it releases stress and creating a positive association between treatment and fun. Laughing together creates a healthy environment for the patients experiencing trauma.

Fourth, rocking or the rhythmic movement is significant for every person especially the children struggling with self-regulation problems. Clinicians need to engage the children in activities such as walking, dancing, balancing, and rhythmic movement of the hands. Besides, these activities are therapeutic to every person not only the children. Lastly, it is critical to recognize that each child has different needs. For this reason, the clinicians need to identify the exact problem facing each of the children to provide relevant treatment techniques. More importantly, it is essential to embrace that each child experiences a different response to physical and mental development (Ortiz & Sibinga, 2017). It will help in creating an association that makes each of the children to feel loved and accepted and thus enhancing their response to medication.


Brandt, K., Perry, B. D., Seligman, S., & Tronick, E. (2014). Infant and early childhood mental health: Core concepts and clinical practice. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Publishing, a Division of American Psychiatric Association.

Ortiz, R., & Sibinga, E. (2017). The Role of Mindfulness in Reducing the Adverse Effects of Childhood Stress and Trauma. Children, 4(3), 16. doi: 10.3390/children4030016

Perry, B. D., & Szalavitz, M. (2017). The boy who was raised as a dog: And other stories from a child psychiatrist's notebook : what traumatized children can teach us about loss, love, and healing. New York : Basic Books.

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Effects of Trauma on Children Essay. (2022, Jul 01). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/effects-of-trauma-on-children-essay

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