As a society we are increasingly exposed to tragic and traumatic events, and unfortunately our children often suffer as a result.
Trauma comes in many shapes and sizes. Witnessing violence or an accident. Experiencing violence or abuse. Encountering a man-made or natural disaster. These are all examples of trauma. If you are aware your child has been a part of any of these situations, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Establish a safe space for your kids to be able to communicate openly, honestly, and comfortably.
- Listen with an open mind.
- Believe what they tell you- this is key in establishing open and honest communication.
- Don’t push for more details than you are given.
- Give your kiddo space but check in or follow up later to see how they are processing the experience.
- Maintain their normal routine – structure will help them feel safe.
- Lastly, seek professional help if you notice major changes in appetite, sleep, or personality.
You are your kids’ major advocate, other than themselves, so listen to your gut. The best way to help a child process trauma is for them to feel safe, seen, heard, and validated. Children are incredibly resilient and mental health is important. Children are our future so let’s support them to the best of our abilities.
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