Helping Your Child Heal After a Traumaenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/KH_generic_header_02_2.jpgTraumas are serious events that cause kids to fear for their life or safety. But kids can recover after trauma. There is therapy that can help. Kids also need extra support and comfort from parents.child abuse, trauma, traumatic, tramatic, shock, therapy, therapist, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mental health, PTSD, trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, my child was abused, my child had trauma, grief, grieving, greiving, greif, bad memories, mourning, flashbacks, flah backs, my child was abused, my child was raped, helping kids after trauma, talk therapy, children abused, kids, abuse, violence, accidents, homeless, homlessness, being homeless, no home, natural disasters, kid, harm, hurt, physical abuse, hitting, hit, punch, punching, kick, burn, choke, bite, neglect, spank, abandonment, abandon, sex, sexual abuse, inappropriate sexual contact, rape, porn, drugs, depression, emotional, emotions, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, psycological abuse, child abuser, mean, hurtful, neglectful, angry, mad, sad, feelings, mental health, neglected, abused, hit, hitting, drinking, alcohol, meth, abusive head trauma, shaken baby syndrome03/30/202103/30/202103/30/2021Allison T. Dovi, PhD03/10/20216926ce47-ada3-4400-bf4d-9572538516fbhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/trauma-care.html/<p>Parents do everything they can to protect their children. But sadly, many kids have gone through trauma.</p> <p>A trauma is any event that is deeply upsetting, scary, or harmful. Things like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/child-abuse.html/">abuse</a>, violence, accidents, or natural disasters can be traumas. Becoming homeless, losing a parent, or a serious illness can be traumas too.</p> <p>Traumas are serious events that cause kids to fear for their life or safety.</p> <p>After a trauma, the emotional effects can last a long time. It can be hard to move on. For some kids, trauma can lead to <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ptsd.html/">post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)</a>.</p> <p>But kids can recover after trauma. There is therapy that can help. Kids also need extra support and comfort from parents.</p> <h3>How Does Trauma Affect Kids?</h3> <p>Trauma affects a child's sense of safety and trust. After a trauma, kids can still feel tense or scared. Some feel alone, sad, angry, or guilty. They may think they are to blame for what happened to them. For some kids, there's a loss of self-esteem or dignity. For some, there's deep <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/death.html/">grief</a>.</p> <p>Trauma also can affect a child's mood, behavior, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sleep-problems.html/">sleep</a>. Some kids become <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-depression.html/">depressed</a>. They might act grumpy or seem sad. Some get in trouble more often or do worse in school. Some have new fears or trouble sleeping. Some have upsetting memories, called flashbacks. Often, kids avoid things that remind them of what they've been through.</p> <p>After a trauma, some kids share how they feel. But other kids keep things to themselves. They may try to hide how they feel, or try to push it out of their minds. They may think others expect them to "get over it." Some just don't have words for their feelings. For any of these reasons, a parent might not know what their child is going through.</p> <h3>How Does Therapy Help Kids Heal After a Trauma?</h3> <p>Therapy gives kids a way to safely share their feelings, tell their story, and get support. In <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/finding-therapist.html/">therapy</a>, kids learn to talk about what they've been through. They learn coping and calming skills. They learn to adjust the way they think and feel about the trauma. Slowly, they learn to face things they used to avoid. Therapy helps kids find their own courage and gain confidence.</p> <p>Child therapy for trauma is called <strong>trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy</strong> (or TF-CBT). Therapy includes talk, play, and learning activities that heal trauma.</p> <p>TF-CBT helps parents too. It's natural for parents to feel upset about what their child has been through. In therapy, parents get the support they need. They get advice on how to help their child at home.</p> <p>In TF-CBT, parents can play a big role in their child's healing. They are coached to listen in ways that help their child open up, talk, and feel close. They help their child practice coping skills at home. They share in the good feelings as their child makes progress.</p> <h3>How Can I Find Therapy for My Child?</h3> <p><strong>Talk to your child's doctor.</strong> Let them know what your child has been through. The doctor cares about your child's mental health too.</p> <p>Ask the doctor to refer you to a trained child therapist who can help. You might need to take your child to therapy once a week for a few months. But you'll see progress along the way.</p> <h3>How Can I Give My Child the Extra Support They Need?</h3> <p>After a trauma, kids need your support and comfort more than ever. Be sure to:&nbsp;</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Spend time with your child.</strong> Do things that are soothing, relaxing, or fun. Cook together, take a walk, play, read, make art, or sing. Try to do this every day, even if it's only for a few minutes.</li> <li><strong>Parent with patience and warmth.</strong> Use kind words. Give praise when your child is doing well or trying hard. Let your child know you're proud of them. Be patient when they make a mistake. Show them how to try again.</li> <li><strong>Show love.</strong> Use hugs, smiles, words, and caring actions to show your love. Use soothing words and offer comfort when your child is upset.</li> <li><strong>Have soothing routines.</strong> Take a few minutes at bedtime (or any time) to read a story, snuggle together, or sing to your young child. For older kids, make it a routine to give a good night hug, along with a few minutes to talk, listen, or laugh together. Those extra few minutes with you can help your child feel calm, safe, and relaxed.</li> </ul> <p>These may seem like small things &mdash; things you already do. But giving extra support and time keeps your child feeling loved and close to you. After a trauma, that closeness matters more than ever.</p>
About Serious StressSerious stress can come from dealing with a personal crisis, a disaster, a health crisis, or a mental health condition that feels out of control. Here's what to do when stress gets really serious.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/serious-stress.html/78a0c5cb-4520-4ed9-a48a-dcef9d173b06
AbuseAbuse can take many forms. This article talks about recognizing abuse, its effects, and what someone who is being abused can do.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/family-abuse.html/92d2f866-27fd-488e-ae81-50c3c2bba495
Abusive Head Trauma (Shaken Baby Syndrome)Abusive head trauma is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the United States. It happens when someone shakes an infant.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/shaken.html/3269a5d0-70ac-4c10-bcd2-f11fa57038e7
Abusive RelationshipsAbuse has no place in love. Read this article to find out how to recognize the signs of abuse and how you can get help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/abuse.html/21ddb156-35d8-4686-90d7-14caf0a71d66
Am I in a Healthy Relationship?Does your boyfriend or girlfriend treat you as well as you treat him or her? Does your BF or GF support you in good times as well as bad? Does he or she get who you really are? Find out if you're in a healthy relationship.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/healthy-relationship.html/2afa0eab-086a-4ef1-8795-fe19911aa05f
Being AfraidHave you ever been afraid? Everyone gets scared sometimes. Find out more about fear in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/afraid.html/c9e97ce3-0e30-4d1c-a5ba-9f91b26a5e60
Child AbuseChild abuse — whether it's physical, sexual, emotional, medical, or another type — can harm kids in many ways. Learn how to spot the signs of child abuse.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/child-abuse.html/68815c40-93d7-4239-8795-2a8872e6282c
Childhood StressBeing a kid doesn't always mean being carefree - even the youngest tots worry. Find out what stresses kids out and how to help them cope.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/stress.html/59de098b-e356-4b1b-b504-c8afae76e1de
Date RapeHalf of all people who are raped know their attacker. Increase your child's awareness of date rape and teach him or her how to stay safe.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/date-rape.html/d00766fd-882b-4ba2-9c24-08b79527c6d3
Dealing With Difficult EmotionsNegative emotions are impossible to avoid and everyone feels them from time to time. They may be difficult, but they don't have to be stressful. Find out how to deal with stressful feelings.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/stressful-feelings.html/67cde0df-0678-4194-8b9e-5dd0df3742c9
Death and GriefIf someone close to you has died, you probably feel overwhelmed with grief. Read about some things that might help you cope.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/someone-died.html/01d87622-8128-4340-9f92-6fe325b3ab7e
DepressionDepression is very common. For more information about depression and feeling better, check out this article.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/depression.html/313901c9-c72a-4f03-831b-94ab61da2856
Fears and PhobiasFear is a normal human reaction that protects us by signaling danger and preparing us to deal with it. Get the facts about fears and phobias and what causes them.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/phobias.html/30d316c9-a38a-492f-95f8-d33304e0856f
Finding Low-Cost Mental Health CareIf you need mental health care but don't think you can afford it, you're not alone. Get tips on finding low-cost or free mental health care in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/mhealth-care.html/1d8bc05d-7696-4dda-910b-0d06f3855508
Getting Over a Break-UpIf you're trying to get over a break-up, you're not alone. Just about everyone experiences the type of grief we call heartbreak at one time or another.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/broken-heart.html/b450eae9-2bc6-4379-ade8-cb087c57bce7
Going to a TherapistWhat's it like to go to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist? Find out in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/going-to-therapist.html/98f4f29c-08f9-42ae-84d2-a492759ee506
Helping Your Child Deal With DeathHelping kids cope with the death of a loved one can be hard, particularly as you work through your own grief. Here are some tips.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/death.html/915b54ec-3a4c-4be8-be94-af754512fe49
Kids Talk About DeathKids talk about what it feels like to lose a loved one, and how they handle their grief and help others.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/kids-talk-death.html/f434cdcf-3d76-4a68-9f03-df819d4ded36
Mental Health SpecialistsCounselors, therapists, clinical social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists are all experts in mental health. But there can be differences. Learn more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mental-health-specialists.html/7e283203-489b-4556-b090-4e5fe0f4d5fd
Posttraumatic Stress DisorderSometimes after experiencing a traumatic event, a person has a strong and lingering reaction known as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Getting treatment and support can make all the difference.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/ptsd.html/713e332a-8629-4b08-a45b-0a5bc0501ec1
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Kids and teens who live through a traumatic event can develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Healing is possible with the help of professional counseling and support from loved ones.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ptsd.html/ce52166b-2b3e-440f-8072-804a984fab0b
RapeRape is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse. Rape is about power, not sex. Both men and women of any age can be raped. Find out what you can do and how to take care of yourself after a rape.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/rape-what-to-do.html/b53f084c-3bc2-4cbc-bea1-04718d2022c1
Sadness and DepressionEveryone is sad once in a while. But depression is a sadness that goes on too long and hurts too much. Find out more in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/depression.html/f5bae932-e007-4fc5-b712-271e8bdff1ab
Taking Your Child to a TherapistMany children and teens have problems that affect how they feel, act, or learn. Going to therapy helps them cope better, feel better, and do better.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/finding-therapist.html/36c31f3c-0467-4e71-8c7e-c6274c9f2c8f
When Depression Is SevereSevere depression can cloud a person's thinking and lead some people to think that life isn't worth living. But severe depression can be treated. Find out what to do and how to get help in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/severe-depression.html/f8a6f7b0-feaf-499d-b2a1-ebdb48a21c3d
Why Do People Get Depressed?There's no one reason why people get depressed - many different things can play a role. Find out more about the things that can trigger depression.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/why-depressed.html/d1e33cf3-a49d-4f8e-863b-f9423ee608d5
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthTough Topicshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/positive/talk/8f27f8bd-ce64-4525-9b9c-2353a4af1dd7Behaviorhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/emotions/behavior/ec417296-5115-48f8-9e98-400241ef0269Emotionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/emotions/feelings/b0520316-31b1-481c-9869-510ceb0094d1