A Veteran Wonders: How Will My PTSD Affect My Kids?


In this piece for The Atlantic, Brooke King reflects on how her trauma currently affects and may continue to affect her children, as well as the steps she has taken to mitigate the negative effects of her trauma on others.

“Wilcox agrees that being open with my kids about what I’m going through will likely have a positive effect on their development. ‘All kids and all families go through difficult times, so one of the things we want our children to learn is: What do you do when you go through difficult times?’ she says. By being open about how I cope with the hard things that have happened to me, she says, I’m ‘giving them a huge, wonderful lesson in life.’

Zachary and Bowen will be shaped by my past. We are all shaped by our parents. I can’t help that. But if my trauma is going to shape them, I don’t want it to shape them into a negative version of myself. I want my trauma to become a tool to help them handle their own issues in life; to make them a stronger, better version of myself. Isn’t that what every parent hopes for?”