Helping Children Adjust After A Traumatic Event (Article)

Here are some clear ways you, as an adult, can help children deal with traumatic experiences.

  1. Tell them the facts (appropriate to age)
  2. Listen to what they have to say
  3. Be honest, even if you do not know certain facts
  4. Tell them how you feel
  5. Provide reassurance of safety to the child; appropriate parental touch or holding
  6. Allow the child to grieve and mourn
  7. Validate normalcy of their reaction
  8. 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.