An Ethical Dilemma – Children and Trauma

An Ethical Dilemma – Children and Trauma

Family trauma issues are often entrenched by the time you are a young adult – abandonment; emotional deprivation; unresolved anger; neglect; lack of personal boundaries, confusion; anxiety; guilt,  shame; disassociation, depression; sleep disorder; mistrust; hypervigilance, night terrors; fragmented ethics and moral values; numbing out to life and denial; inability to communicate and function in relationships or to maintain friendships –  which allows the child to become the target for bullying and abuse in the wider world. All the experiences in the larger world are compounded and reinforce all of the above family issues that have been internalised as a young child.  It becomes the The Self Forfilling Prophecy. 

The child’s psyche works hard to cultiavate a world view that is safe, blanking out what is too painful when faced with ongoing trauma – escaping into the world of fantasy is often a release. A child who lives with constant trauma will numb them self to the effects of trauma. This highly developed wall of protection can make the child even more vunerable. This is often evident when “unspeakable” things happen, the child seems to flow and go along with the situation, and even when questioned directly about the situation, would deny strongly and tell the concerned adult that everything was ok. So often help is not received and the child is not protected. 

If you suspect a child is living in living in an abusive situation or is being neglected what would you do? Do you seek to find a non invasive way to respond to the situation? Do you go in hard and create more chaos ? Do you walk away and do nothing? Sadly more people than you imagine will choose the third option. The second most common response is the second senario and very few will seek to engage with the adults and child/children directly and offer their time and expression of concern.

Suspicion and gossip can be malicious and unfounded – so caution is always advised before diving into anothers affairs. this does not mean that when you witness bad behaviour you excuse it and turn you head the other ways and pretend that you did not see it. This can be an ethical dilemma.

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