This is the second blog post/article in a series on “de-escalation wins”. The first post explained the scientifically recognized parenting styles, along with pros and cons of each. In this post, “breaking the cycle” will be discussed as a stepping stone in order to learn why de-escalation works well as a parenting strategy.
“Breaking the cycle” generally refers to the discontinuation of certain parenting practices from our own parents when we raise our own children. The practices are typically seen as harmful to children, and thus the parent does not want to continue to pass down generational trauma to their children.
In order for this to occur, three different (but connected and intertwined) factors must be considered.
This blog article discusses the three main components to “breaking the cycle”.
The first is safety. One MUST be in a (relatively) safe physical, mental, and psychological space in order to begin the healing process. When a person is still actively in an abusive or unhealthy situation as an adult, their brain and body continues to be stressed. When the brain is stressed, it cannot adequately begin to process past trauma to heal in the first place.
The second is recognition and desire. If no problem is recognized, then the individual will not progress. Recognition comes in many forms and applies to several life aspects. Although many of us love our parents, we must recognize that they are also a product of their parents, and so forth. We must also recognize where they were unhealthy. Additionally, we must recognize what ways we have carried those unhealthy behaviors into our own lives, and have a desire to be better to our children.
Lastly, active change is key to “breaking the cycle”. Active change involves taking conscious steps to make changes. For many, this may include therapy. Active change also involves daily parental-child interactions. When we begin to feel frustrated, it is the adults responsibility speak to our children differently. It is our responsibility to take a breath, and practice a different parenting strategy. Active change also involves the way we reflect on ourselves after conflict has occurred (once the situation has calmed).
Below, you will find a link to Rock County Resources. If you need help finding safety, therapy, and other resources, be sure to check out this list.