Anyone who experiences a traumatic event can find it hard to recover and deal with extreme emotions. For adults, it can be easier to cope with trauma. However, for the younger population, it becomes an even bigger task as they still don’t fully understand how it works. Childhood trauma can affect your life even as an adult. This is why it is crucial that we try and help kids manage traumatic events to the best of our capabilities.
The good news is that parents can help their children cope with traumatic events. When helping any child aged zero to 18 years old, a clinic that offers occupational therapy for children in Townsville is always a good place to go to. You should also keep in mind the following dos and don’ts:
Watch out for the red flags
Any parent or guardian caring for a child who has experienced a traumatic event should learn about the signs of anxiety, fear, stress. Is your child having difficulty falling asleep? Are they easily agitated, triggered, or angered? Have they lost interest in activities or food they used to love? Make sure to listen to what they say and be vigilant in what they are trying to tell you.
Don’t be afraid to express your love
A traumatized child needs you now more than ever. Don’t be scared to show them that you care even if they show signs of reluctance. Shower them with love – more than you usually give. Give them enough reason to think that you have their back. Kiss them, hug them, and give them their favorite food. Reassure them that you’ll always be there when they need you.
Keep up with their regular routines
For kids, knowing what activity comes after the next one can help them feel safe and secure. As much as possible, let them keep their normal routines so as not to overwhelm them. The predictability of how their day will go can help them recover. Make sure to take baby steps when adding a new activity. Ask for their opinion and make sure that they are comfortable before straying to another path.
Don’t forbid them to talk about the incident
Sometimes, talking about the traumatic event is better than avoiding it. But you should be careful when this involves children. Pick a good time to talk about the incident and share what you know in a language they will understand. It is always best for them to learn about the event from you or another person they trust than from an outsider. Respect their boundaries and try to understand their feelings. Tell them that it is okay to feel what they are feeling.
Limit their exposure to screens
Children’s stress and anxiety can be triggered after seeing violent news. If young children get continuously exposed to disturbing news, they will find it hard to recover from the trauma quickly. Any disturbing images or video clips can aggravate their stress, fear, or anxiety. It would be best to limit their exposure to such media to facilitate faster recovery from trauma.
Remember that as parents, it is our duty to protect our children from the dangers of trauma. Always be their confidant and their shoulder to lean on. Follow these dos and don’ts, and you’ll find it easier to help your child cope with the traumatic event.