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Glass Child Syndrome is Real and Here is Why You Need to Know About it

I am back! Over the last several weeks, Kaii and I have been preparing for our presentation about Racial Bias in AI. We provided this virtual training on behalf of an organization called NAADAC, which serves addiction professionals. Much time and research went into preparing and delivering the presentation, but we are now back on schedule. I've missed you all, and I am excited to reconnect again!

If you follow me on LinkedIn, you know that I post about how our unresolved childhood trauma can affect us in the workplace. I share how it can show up in our relationships with co-workers and managers or affect our ability to lead effectively. About a month ago, I covered "glass child syndrome." Glass child syndrome is an important topic we must begin discussing in families and society. If you can relate or have a friend or family member who needs to know what glass child syndrome is and how they can begin healing, please share today's message with them.

Alicia Maples, an entrepreneur, introduced the term "Glass Child" in her 2010 Tedx Talk. This term poignantly describes these children who often feel invisible as their parents' focus is primarily on their siblings with special needs.

Alicia Maples explained that the term "Glass Child" derives from the notion that parents, deeply engrossed in the care of their special needs children, tend to "look right through" their healthy child, overlooking their own emotional needs. This phenomenon can leave the healthy siblings feeling neglected, as their needs for attention and emotional Support are often unintentionally sidelined.

As a result, children may grow up feeling isolated, underappreciated, and emotionally neglected. They might internalize their feelings, believing their struggles are less significant than their siblings. This lack of acknowledgment can lead to long-term emotional ramifications, including issues with self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and difficulties in forming healthy relationships in adulthood.

The good news is that recognizing these feelings is the first step toward healing. Here are three steps to assist those who may relate to this experience:

1. Acknowledge and Validate Your Feelings: Understand that your feelings are valid and deserve care and attention. Permit yourself to acknowledge your emotions without guilt or shame.

2. Seek Support: Whether through counseling, support groups, or connecting with others with similar experiences, finding a network that understands your situation can be incredibly beneficial. Professional therapists can offer strategies to cope and heal from the trauma.

3. Communicate with Your Parents: If comfortable, consider having an open and honest conversation about your experiences growing up with your parents. Sharing your feelings can foster understanding and strengthen familial bonds. This step is crucially empowering and can help you and your parents better understand each other.

Navigating this journey requires patience and courage, but acknowledging the need for emotional Support is a significant first step. I am here to offer guidance and resources as you embark on this path toward healing.

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