How to nurture a trauma-free environment

Bitsy McCann//May 23, 2023

How to nurture a trauma-free environment

Bitsy McCann//May 23, 2023

As a parent, I believe that one of my primary goals in my life is to raise an emotionally resilient child who can navigate life’s challenges with both confidence and adaptability. Protecting Coraline from emotional trauma is essential in fostering her healthy development. In this article, I will share some practical strategies and insights I’ve gained on how to create a nurturing environment that minimizes emotional trauma.   

Foster a Warm and Secure Relationship 

Building a strong parent-child bond lays the foundation for emotional well-being. Research consistently shows that children who have secure attachments with their caregivers are more likely to develop emotional resilience. I make a conscious effort to respond quickly and warmly to Coraline’s needs so that I can create a secure and loving environment.   

Encourage Emotional Expression 

Emotions are a natural part of being human, so it’s crucial to teach children how to recognize and express their feelings appropriately. I encourage open communication. I listen to my daughter. I validate her emotions without judgment. Coraline is intensely stubborn and can be very quick to anger. I don’t return her anger with anger. We talk about how she’s feeling and how her behavior is inappropriate or not. Research suggests that emotional expressiveness can enhance emotional regulation skills and reduce the risk of emotional trauma later in life.  

Model Healthy Coping Skills 

Children watch every single thing that we do, and they learn how to interact with life by observing us. Modeling healthy coping strategies when faced with challenges teaches kids valuable life skills. Demonstrating calmness during disagreements, showing an interest in solving problems without intensity, and utilizing stress management techniques can positively influence a child’s ability to navigate difficulties. Several studies highlight the impact of parental coping styles on children’s emotional well-being and resilience.  

Cultivate a Supportive Environment 

Creating a supportive and nurturing environment outside of the home is just as important as creating one on the inside. I make sure that Coraline has unlimited access to caring individuals and positive role models so that they can help support her emotional well-being. I believe that having a strong support network outside of myself and my husband, Kevin, also creates a safe space for her to express her feelings and issues with another adult. While I want to be her “go to,” I know that I won’t always be. I have cultivated a beautiful family in Harrisburg for my own personal emotional wellness, but absolutely for hers as well.  

Practice Positive Discipline 

Discipline is an essential aspect of parenting, but it can be done in a way that minimizes emotional trauma. I use positive discipline techniques that focus on teaching, guiding, and understanding rather than strict punishment. I am a huge fan of an ongoing lecture on why what she did was not appropriate. Instead of doing nothing or just saying “STOP THAT,” I explain in detail why what she’s doing is unacceptable. Studies have shown that positive discipline strategies, such as setting clear boundaries, using rewards and consequences, and promoting empathy, contribute to healthier emotional development.  

Use Conscious Effort 

Raising children without emotional trauma requires conscious effort. A lot of effort. I am not saying I am the perfect parent or the best parent, but I am trying hard to ensure that Coraline grows into an adult who can easily handle her emotions, has coping skills, and invests her time in healthy relationships. 

By implementing these strategies, I hope I am nurturing an emotionally resilient child who is well-equipped to face life’s challenges with grace and confidence. 

While these insights are my own personal ones and while research supports many of them, I also think it’s important to note that parenting practices should be adapted to suit the unique needs of each child and family. 



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