8 Tips to Help Children Deal with Trauma

Below, pyschotherapist Diane Lang offers tips on how to help children deal with trauma in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

 

In this time of sadness, we must remain strong especially for the kids who were traumatized. Here are eight tips to help kids deal with trauma:

Empathetic listening – be empathetic to what the kids have been through. Put yourself in their shoes.

Be a good listener – listen to your kids both verbally and non-verbally.

Be honest – be honest and open, but age appropriate. Remember, age is just a number; know the child’s maturity level and how much they can handle.

Situation is temporary and they are safe – let the child know the situation is temporary and they are doing everything in their power to make sure everyone is safe.

Allow time for a Q – talking out in the open is an important way to cope.

Healing takes time/comfort as much as you can – it takes time to heal/comfort. Give the kids time to heal and be as warm as possible and comfort them as they heal.

Try to keep a sense of normalcy and routine. Don’t make any sudden or drastic changes, if possible.

Watch your own behavior. If your kids see you upset and stressed, they will become more stressed. Kids are visual learners so watch your behaviors.

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