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What We Could Be Overlooking in Children Who Are ‘Old Souls’ or ‘Mature for Their Age’

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My entire childhood, well-intentioned adults would comment on how I was an “old soul,” “mature for your age,” and “a little adult in a child’s body.” These comments were made as compliments and were lapped up by my mother as proof of her astounding parenting.

She wore them as a badge of honor, propping me up like a little porcelain doll as the “perfect child,” one that avoided doing anything to cause trouble and who would bend over backward to fit in among a crowd of mostly grown-ups.

Unfortunately, there was more than met the eye. I wasn’t just a well-behaved child, I was a child whose youth and development had been completely disrupted by trauma.

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