top of page

Habits Childhood Trauma can Create in Adults

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Photo by

Habits childhood Trauma can create in adults. Getting Real; understanding Habits.

Have you ever wondered why you do certain things that keep showing up in your life? You know these habits are not the best parts of you, yet you must do them to feel relief or even a sense of joy.

Let's reframe "habits," shall we? Let's look at them from a new lens. Habits aligned to childhood Trauma and our need to survive, to keep us focused on something else, to numb the pain… I could keep going. These habits are buried in our subconscious, and often we don't realize that a "root cause" is holding that habit firmly in place.

Breaking Habits down

I want a few habits that might show up; if you have these and you see these in your children, there is a way to heal and be free to be your best "me."

1. Avoiding (Yes, it is a habit!) – This habit holds you back from taking positive action; instead, you would rather focus on the positive and pleasant in an extreme way. You would struggle to step into challenging or unpleasant situations. What kind of childhood Trauma would create a habit of avoiding (Procrastinating)? As a child, your world was filled with conflict and tension. To calm your world, you need to be a peacemaker that does not add to the already stressful and chaotic situation. Avoiding habits will create more significant challenges in the future! When we avoid, there is a bubbling of resentment and anger that will likely overflow at some time and then take you right back into the avoidance cycle.

2. Need to Control – This habit can negatively impact those in your world. It is created because of needing to grow up too quickly, needing to survive physically or emotionally, and maybe even experiencing excessive control by a parent. To be free of control, you now take control! You are anxious when things are not going your way. You could be angry and intimidating when others don't do what you want them to do. Needing to control creates anxiety and can be unkind to others. Controlling never helps and creates challenges in relationships.

3. Extreme Achiever! – Ever met one of those people that excel at everything they do? They are consistently winning and focused on the next big "win." This habit is developed in childhood by parents that set conditional validation of good enough or possibly a complete absence of recognition. "If you do this, you are good (Well done!). If you don't, you are bad!" This habit eats away at personal acceptance and self-love. The extreme achiever struggles with relationships and is constantly competing for acceptance. The extreme achiever will feel lonely and disconnected from who they are. This needs to shift and can only shift through self-love and acceptance.

4. Busy, the habit of never resting! (Always distracted) – Why would you be happy with this moment? Why not run from moment to moment, never to miss out? This habit is like a road runner running from minute to minute and never truly being present, grateful, and self-nurturing. If you suffer from this habit, you might have had inadequate parental nurturing or painful experiences. Maybe you are running away from your story and your life, but how can you ever stop when you start running? Resting and being present allows for a deep connection to self and the ability to navigate painful experiences.

5. Perfectionism – you LOVE order and getting things RIGHT! If you have this habit, you might be trying to prove to your parent that you are good enough, and in many ways, you are trying to avoid being judged. You might have had a chaotic family life, and the only way to gain emotional attention was to stand out as the PERFECT Kid. Your habit will create stress for those around you who might never be able to live up to your PERFECT standard. You will give off a sense of grumpiness or dissatisfaction that can negatively impact those in your world.

As a parent, you can see how you might create trauma habits in your child through circumstances. Your impact on your children may be based on your childhood. There are ways in which we can shift how we parent and connect with our children, and that is to extend our love without condition. To nurture our children to be who they are. We can stop fearing the difference in our children and start celebrating them for who they are. We can teach them to love themselves and be peaceful in their company. We can model the way by practicing acceptance of ourselves. Habits are changed through inner work on acceptance, love, and presence. We can rewrite the stories we have been told growing up and live our lives in abundance because we can be with others, see them, and connect deeply. I think that is the life I choose; I know it’s hard work, yet it is worth it! I choose me; I want my children to choose THEMSELVES too!


Christina E. Foxwell is the founder of Ignite Purpose, where, over the past decade, she has supported leaders in navigating their teams and helped people find their purpose and flow. This has led to her supporting them in their own life-changing journeys to follow their passions, transform their lives, and grow into the people they were always meant to be. The modalities she uses in her work are CBT, ACT, Mental Fitness, Performance Science, Behavioral Profiling, and Positive Intelligence.

Foxwell is the author of four books. Her first two works are children’s books on emotional intelligence, The Adventures of Oscar the Pufferfish: Owning my “pop," and The Story of Astra the Unicorn Finding Her Belonging. Grow Me is a guide to growth. Her latest book, The Glass Angel, is a powerful look into transformation, change, and perseverance.

80 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page