Kate Middleton has recently written an opinion piece in The Telegraph on the importance of mental health during a child’s early stages, especially in the first five years.
I use my platform personally to speak openly about how you can rework old habits, traumas and childhood issues to create a more positive future for yourself in adulthood. What the Princess of Wales is voicing is essentially stopping these issues from the root. This is absolutely true but I want to offer my perspective.
A child’s early years are vital for their development, that is true. And what we are talking about is allowing your child to grow into a strong, confident and successful adult.
What I have seen in recent years is an increase in new parents, especially parents of Gen Alpha, allowing their children the opportunity to voice who they want to be, rather than attempting to mold them to prior generations’ expectations.
This is highly beneficial for growth and development, as it creates a large amount of space to also learn from mistakes, communicate them and not be ashamed of them either.
So, can we prevent all trauma?
Trauma, unfortunately, is unavoidable a lot of the time. Your child may witness or experience something that will have a detrimental affect on their future choices and endeavors.
But what if I told you that it’s not necessarily the event itself that will decide a child’s fate. What you do from that experience onwards, as a parent/guardian/carer is vital in every way.
Note how Kate Middleton is highlighting the first 5 years of childhood mental health. This is prior to the Early Years Foundation Stage. i.e When your child’s main influences are you, the guardian. This is when your child is learning the ways of the world, through you. And this is when we teach our children to communicate their mental health in their own way.
Primary schools are introducing Wellbeing Rooms, where children are allowed a quiet space to either talk or reflect. Before they start school however, they need the tools to understand how to use that space and how it can benefit them.
Talk, talk, talk.
This really is the key to any child being able to find solace, no matter what their pain is. That isn’t to say that all of this will avoid all future generations’ trauma. Rather, we can allow for them to understand the ways of the world and of things out of their control a lot of the time.
Will therapy be obsolete then?
Absolutely not! I’m a huge advocate for preventative and developmental therapy. Therapy isn’t just about repairing. It is also about building on what you already have and checking in with yourself regularly.
Therapy as an adult is your own Wellbeing Room. We all need space to continue to talk about little or big grievances and this is how you make issues and even trauma into something you just talk about, rather than it leaking into other aspects of your life.