Children can face emotional strains after traumatic events, such as accidents, disasters, and witnessing and/or being victims of violence. Understanding how children and youth may react and caring for them in an age appropriate way are critical to their healing and future well-being, but it can be difficult to know what to do. Below are some resources you may find helpful as you support children and youth after traumatic events.
- Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A guide for parents, caregivers, and teachers: This fact sheet helps adults recognize common reactions of children after experiencing a disaster or traumatic event. It highlights reactions by age group, offers tips for how to respond in a helpful way, and recommends when to seek support. (Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration)
- Disasters: Children’s Responses and Helping Them Recover: Children experience disasters differently than adults. This fact sheet helps adults learn ways to help children recover and when to seek professional help. (Source: K-State Research and Extension)
- Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma: This factsheet discusses the nature of trauma, especially abuse or neglect, the effects of trauma on children and youth, and ways to help a child who has experienced trauma. Parents or foster parents who do not understand the effects of trauma may misinterpret their child’s behavior, and attempts to address troubling behavior may be ineffective or, in some cases, even harmful. By understanding trauma, parents and foster parents can help support a child’s healing, the parent-child relationship, and their family as a whole. (Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway)
Information for this article has been adapted from the National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families, Newsletter, Issue 57, October 2017.
By: Nora Rhoades