15 Ways We Shame Our Children

As I work more with our adopted son and in the foster care/adoptive world, I see a connection between trauma and shame. Even if a child never makes a bad choice in their life, the things done to them, and what they see others do causes shame to pour over their soul like a bitter, sticky molasses.


Abusive, broken homes are a sick petri dish for cultivating shame. I don’t think that surprises anyone. If a child is old enough to remember leaving a home to enter foster care or adoption, they often wonder what is wrong with themselves. Even a child who was a baby when placed in foster care or adopted seems to struggle with a deep sense of shame as they grow older.

Sadly, many children live in shame-based homes, not just ones that end up in foster care or adoption.

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9 Warning Signs that Toxic Shame Is Preventing a Life of Freedom

I found myself telling others almost immediately after meeting them that I had been married three times. I figured they were going to reject me anyways, so why not just get that out of the way.Anonymous Contributor

Do you ever feel like this? That people will reject you if they know the real you, so why not tell them how bad you are right up front? Just beat them to the punch and get it out of the way.

Shame will do that to a person.

Granted shame can be a good thing when we can separate the shame of an inappropriate action—either committed, seen, or perpetrated against us—from our identity. The difference being I feel shame versus I am shameful.

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The Secret to Intimacy with God

Can you imagine a relationship with someone who knows everything about you—good and bad? Every desire, dream, fear, ambition, and regret. Every thought and emotion. Every deed done by you and to you. Every wrinkle and blemish. Every defect and shortcoming. Every mistake and wrong-doing.

For most, the thought of that is unnerving. But what if you had nothing to hide?

That is exactly the relationship Adam and Eve had with God in the beginning. Adam and Eve walked before God with nothing to hide. Not even a hint of wanting to hide.

Now that is intimacy. To be completely known and have no embarrassment, no shame.

No wonder Satan wanted to destroy that relationship.

Something very wrong changed that day when God looked for Adam in the Garden.

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