Breaking the Cycle

Eamani Williams had a tough childhood raised by a single mom. Then she learned it how tough is is being a single mom when a pregnancy interrupted her teen years.

Eamani Willions had a tough childhood raised by a single mom. Then she learned it how tough is is being a single mom when a pregnancy interrupted her teen years.

That pregnancy wasn’t planned. I didn’t know what to do, like how to bond with him.

Like most adults, Eamani experienced at trauma growing up, or what experts like to call “adverse childhood experiences.” And because a mother’s and infant’s mental health are woven together, a trauma can impact her ability to bond with her child, manage parental stress, or be emotionally available.

But Eamani is breaking the trauma cycle in her family. Now a mother to two in Schenectady, NY, Eamani gets support from  a program, called HealthySteps, in her children’s pediatrician’s office.

A program of ZERO TO THREE, HealthySteps meets parents and families where they are by adding a child development expert to a child’s primary health team.

Healthy supports Eamani and her children’s social and emotional needs with child development and parenting skills and resources.

Now, Emani says, “When I get, like, my depression episodes, I try not to be depressed in front of, them because they’re like a mirror. So I try to just not show it around them, at least try to just be the happy mom.”

Emani and her determination to protect her children from stress and trauma were featured in a PBS NewsHour series on preventing ACEs.