What Parents Need to Know
- Your child can be traumatized in the same way as an adult.
- Your child experiences reactions similar to traumatized adults.
- Post-traumatic stress creates reactions that are in addition to and different from grief.
- Your child does not need to be a victim or a witness, but only related to a friend or peer to be traumatized themselves.
- Violence is not the only kind of incident that can induce trauma in your child.
- Car accidents, house fires, serious surgical procedures, terminal illness of a loved one, drowning accident, finding a body, divorce, separation from a parent, plane crash, flood, hurricane can all induce trauma in a child.
- A family trauma such as a murder of a family member can traumatize the entire family.
- Each member of a family will have his/her own individual reactions.
- Reactions may be more intense for some and less for others.
The longer trauma victims go without trauma-specific help the more chronic and severe the reactions can become.
- Trauma reactions cannot be prevented, but its negative impact on your child's learning, behavior, personality and emotional development can be minimized when help is provided as soon as possible.
- Your child, when given an opportunity, will generally be eager and able to face the details of his/her trauma.
- Trauma specific help can assist your child in finding relief from his/her terror as well as regaining a sense of control and power over the "monsters" his experience created.
- Your child, when taken for trauma-specific help, will be forever grateful to you, the parent, for acknowledging his need to talk with someone who understands what his terror is like.
- Not every psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, school counselor or doctor know what a trauma is or how best to help.
- There are questions to ask to determine how helpful a counselor, social worker, etc., might be to a child.
- A traumatized child desperately needs patience, the provision of safety, security and basic nurturing.
- As a parent you too will need information. Information about ways trauma changes your child, what he now needs even though it may not seem to you to be what he needs.