Helping Children Adjust After A Traumatic Event (Article)
Here are some clear ways you, as an adult, can help children deal with traumatic experiences.
- Tell them the facts (appropriate to age)
- Listen to what they have to say
- Be honest, even if you do not know certain facts
- Tell them how you feel
- Provide reassurance of safety to the child; appropriate parental touch or holding
- Allow the child to grieve and mourn
- Validate normalcy of their reaction
- Reaffirm their life’s direction
Use this opportunity as a time to reunite as a family. Do activities as a family that the child considers safe.
Children look to adults to figure out how serious things are. Affirm that the child will be protected/safe – stay calm. If you are a member of a religion, prayers may comfort the child and/or attending religious services, church, etc.
Routine is critical as it conveys security to children.
A child’s self-esteem is closely tied to his/her feeling about his/her behavioral performance and parental approval
For more information on how to cope following trauma, give Best Care EAP a call.
To schedule your confidential appointment, call (402) 354-8000 or (800) 801-4182, or send an email.
Source: International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc., 2001.