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Had a Chaotic Childhood? Why You May Have an Advantage

11 May

For so many years, we mental health professionals have empathized with clients who came from emotionally chaotic childhoods and homes. After all, it’s been shown that coming from a chaotic home can set you up for all sorts of problems later on (a pursuit of immediate gratification, etc.).

But, what if I told you that crazy childhood may actually be an ADVANTAGE? Well, the researchers have been busy these past few years trying to figure out why some folks who report chaotic childhoods actually thrive in certain situations. They think they’re close to figuring things out.

For one, they started to realize that people who grew up with unstable parents have a real knack for judging people and situations – AND being flexible. After all, these folks grew up in households in which you never knew how Mom and Dad were going to react.

What researchers found is this: Those who grew up in structured environments followed the rules no matter what, EVEN if the “way” of doing things wasn’t working. However, those who grew up in chaotic environments were fine changing course when the rules didn’t work.

What does this mean? It means that those who grew up in less-than-ideal households developed skills that are quite useful in life. And, that old research that says you’re doomed if you had a crazy childhood? Turns out, it’s not so on-point after all!

Britt

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