Home » DIY, Medicine, Sgt. Doom » How to Help Children Deal with Trauma – Part 2

Coming back to the series we started last time on how to help kids deal with trauma, we arrive at pre-adolescents. Aged 11 to 18, these children will have a more sophisticated outlook on traumatic events. Their reactions will start resembling those of adults. As they approach teenagehood, they tend to take risks and put themselves in danger for the thrill of it. Recurring to alcohol and drugs is a common post-traumatic manifestation at this age.  As an opposite behavior, they might be afraid to leave home and close up in themselves.

A disaster can change their perspective on their future. While most adolescents dream of moving out and discovering the world, one that has gone through such an experience might become introverted and be overwhelmed with emotions.

So as children grow up, parents need to adapt to their age and be prepared. The next important aspect is what exactly you discuss with them, which has to follow some basic rules.

First of all, choose the right time to talk to them. If they are busy with something else, chances are they won’t listen to what you have to say. Prepare yourself for a lot of questions and don’t lose your patience.

Explain the gravity of the situation to them and don’t discuss disaster as if it was a joke, just to catch their attention. However, don’t hold a long monologue, leave them room for comments and questions.

How to Help Children Deal with Trauma 2

Their reaction is very important; their fear or anger will guide you to say the right things.

Be receptive to their feelings and understanding, and even if they don’t ask you anything, you ask them about their mood and how much they understood.

These are the basic rules on how to approach children of different ages. Of course, there are many others, but for now, this is the essential. Discussing a disaster with kids is not that easy and can sometimes raise a number of issues for which you have to be prepared. Not preparing can lead to a lot of remorse that will haunt you for years to come.

We will continue with how to tell if children are traumatized and how to overcome it next time!

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