Dealing with Childhood Trauma – Tip #432
Guest Post By: Josh Anderson – Guest Post U
As the name implies, traumatic experiences are overwhelming for any individual to deal with, and these types of situations are particularly trying for a child. A child has not yet fully developed the ability to cope with some of the most harsh and painful aspects of life.
Therapy Treatments: In many cases involving trauma, the child will need to see a therapist. If the child was involved in a car accident or has experienced another sort of bodily injury, physical therapy may be absolutely required to help the child learn how to walk or otherwise move again. If the child lost a parent or other loved one in a tragedy, he or she may need to speak with a psychologist in order to properly express feelings of grief.
Providing Space: Although you may be tempted to be on top of the child all of the time, the child is going to need some space as well. The child may want to deal with the trauma by doodling pictures of a lost pet on paper or by silently saying some prayers to deceased family members. Furthermore, the child may just want some relaxing time to sit and think. Be sure to keep an open conversation with the affected individual, but also be certain to allow him or her to adjust to and cope with the situation in personal ways.
Consulting with Others: You may not be equipped to deal with a child who has faced a huge trauma all by yourself. Perhaps you have received custody of several children of two dear friends who passed away in a tragedy. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Ask your sibling or a friend who is a parent for effective methodsas to consoling the child. You can also speak with friends or relatives of the children’s parents or the clergy at your church. Additionally, you may want to attend therapy sessions with the child so that you can both heal and learn methods for coping with one another’s grief.
Creating Safe Spaces: The child needs to feel that he or she has a place that is safe. In the aforementioned example of parents passing away, create a space in the child’s new home that feels just like his or her old home. Move furniture from the old home into the new bedroom. Ask the child is there was a particular place that he or she liked to draw, eat or play, and try to emulate that in the home.
Of course, there are other types of trauma as well. If a beloved pet passed away, show the child a spot where he or she can go to pray for the soul of the pet. If the child was injured, bring him or her to a garden to look at the beautiful flowers during the healing process.
Trauma is difficult, and no one can say that recovering from trauma is easy. The road to recovery is certainly a long one, but certain steps can help to ease at least some of the pain for children.
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Filed under: Military Family Support - Tips from the 101 Tips books, Re-integration Tips, Tips for Educators and Deployment Support Workers Tagged: | childhood trauma, deployment, military, military families, trauma