Does hardship in childhood keep your child from being successful?
Divorce, chronic illness, trauma, abuse, addiction and neglect are common settings for childhood. 75% of children experience at least one of these ongoing stressors.
So we worry as parents, “Is a child’s full potential limited by these difficult circumstances? Or worse, do these childhood events result in an adult life of despair and dysfunction?”
The good news is NO!
Social scientists studied 400 of the most successful people in the 20th century and this is what they found:
1. Less than 15% were raised in supportive, untroubled homes, and
2. 75% grew up in a family burdened by poverty, abuse, absent parents, alcoholism, or serious illness.
Adverse childhood events teach resilience.
Children learn a way of life to courageously face repetitive and ongoing battles with determination. They are trained to handle adversity and succeed by surviving a decades-long endeavor. Born of the forges of an adverse childhood is a soul ready to flourish.
They flourish by seeking people who care, fighting for a better life for themselves, setting goals, and seizing opportunities.
They possess an inner defiance. Some show it externally by being in a constant battle against others. Others surrender externally while remaining internally defiant. The common denominator is inner defiance and either manifestation is essential.
Basically, inner defiance creates a decades-long resilience that results in a scale of success uncommon among us.
Stress can be a teacher and a coach. Through the exercise of responding to stress, reshaping an attitude towards stress, and overcoming stress resilience is born. It is born of habit. You become stronger with practice.
People are not more successful because of a happy, stress-free childhood. They are more content and accomplished because of internal fortitude and believing in themselves.