Three Marks Of Childhood That Last Forever

Three Marks Of Childhood That Last Forever

Last update: 26 September, 2016

Childhood is that time when a beautiful paradox takes place: we are capable of building the strongest foundation in the shortest time period, without even noticing. At age four, our way of being has already started to take shape, so from that point on, all that is left is to develop or hold back the inertia that we have gathered in our first years of life.

Childhood leaves marks that last forever. They are indelible footprints that are mainly reflected in the attitude that we have towards ourselves and others. However, some of these footprints are more persistent and profound, due to the grand impact that they have on the child’s mind.

“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.”

-Oscar Wilde-

Below, we will tell you about three of the marks we internalize during our childhood that can never be erased.

The impossibility of trusting after childhood

Child with Gold Fish

When children are repeatedly let down or betrayed by their parents or guardians, it can be difficult for them to trust other people or even themselves. They will have to fight against the tendency to distrust in order to establish intimate connections with others.

A child is let down when adults promise things that they cannot or do not want to fulfill. For children, it is important that they receive the toy that they were promised if they reached a certain goal. That they be taken to the park because they were told this would happen. That they are given the time of day that was promised to them.

Small breaches of trust can go by unnoticed or have no importance for adults, but for the child, they represent a lesson about what can be expected, everywhere, from close figures.

If children observe their parents lying to them, they will learn that words lack value. It will then be difficult for them to believe others and to make the effort for their own words to have meaning. That mark will create difficulties during their development. Difficulties building bonds with others and managing to create true intimacy in which they feel safe with someone.

The fear of being abandoned

A child who has felt alone, ignored, or abandoned starts to believe that solitude is a completely negative state. They can choose to take one of two paths: either they become overly dependent on others, constantly seeking someone who will accompany and protect them, or they reject all companionship out of caution against suffering potential abandonment.

Those who take the path of dependence end up being able to tolerate any kind of relationship, so long as they do not feel alone. They believe that they are totally incapable of coping with solitude, and so they are willing to pay any price for companionship.

Those who escape fear of abandonment by means of extreme independence become incapable of enjoying the affectionate closeness to another person. For them, love is synonymous with fear. The more affection the feel for another person, the more their anxiety and desire to escape grow. They are the kind of person who breaks intimate ties to stop feeling the anxiety that the possible loss of this beloved figure causes them.

The fear of rejection

Girl Hugging Teddy Bear

Children who have always been questioned and put down by their parents tend to become their own worst enemy. In this way, they develop an interior dialogue of self-reproach and self-recrimination.

These children, in their adult lives, are probably never going to feel coherent with what they do, say, or think. They are always going to find a way to sabotage their own plans and it is going to be very difficult for them to accept that they also have virtues and achievements. They will feel like they do not deserve affection or understanding, and that their expressions of love towards others will be rejected.

In general, they turn into isolated and reclusive adults who feel panic in situations of social contact. At the same time, they are extremely dependent on the opinions of others. When faced with the smallest critique from others, they completely tear themselves down, for they do not know how to distinguish an objective observation from a personal attack.

If, in addition to being rejected, the child is also humiliated, the consequences are even more serious. This humiliation leaves unresolved feelings of anger that turn into a constant sense of powerlessness, which often leads to tyrannous, insensitive people who also seek to humiliate others.

The marks that those childhood experiences leave are very difficult to change. However, this does not mean that they cannot be refined or redirected in order to change them into something positive. The first step is recognizing that they are there and that they have to be worked out so that they do not completely determine the rest of our lives.

Girl with Red Flowers

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.