Prevent PTSD: 11 Things To Do If Your Child Has Been Through Trauma
Provided by ParentingPod, an overview of an article written by Dr. Lydia Jenkins, D.O. Pediatrics.
Knowing that your child has gone through a traumatic event is arguably one of the most stressful, devastating, and overwhelming things a parent can experience. And yet, since parents serve as a child’s strongest source of support and safety in everyday life, they must muster the courage to calmly deliver this support, especially after a child experiences a traumatic event.
If your child has experienced a trauma, you may feel anxious about what to do to help him recover. Listed are some tips to help your child recover from his or her trauma.
Parental Strategies That Can Help a Traumatized Child Recover
- Be sensitive and reassuring
- Resume "normal" activities
- Initiate parent-child conversations about the trauma
- Help your child identify triggers
- Diffuse the situation
- Refrain from using physical punishment
- Praise your child
- Be patient
- Re-establish "pre-trauma" routines
- Stress safety
Every Trauma Is Different
Take your direction from your child. Remember, every child is different and every trauma is different. Keep in mind that everyone has a personal history that, in part, determines how he or she will react to traumatic situations.
It is also important to understand that some children may be more resilient, than other children, which means that one traumatized child’s recovery may look different than another’s.
Therefore, the ultimate goal of recovery is always to rebuild trust, instill a sense of self-worth and value, and to empower your child to feel capable of succeeding, despite the trauma. This is the key to helping your child conquer the after-effects of the trauma.
Furthermore, it is important to seek help for your child from a qualified mental health professional, be patient, listen to your child, and praise and encourage him or her, as much and as often as possible. If you do these things for your child, he or he will most likely be well on his or her way to a full recovery.
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