It’s always important to listen to your child, but it is especially important to listen to your child after they experience trauma. By having supportive parents, the child will able to feel safe again. They will open up and be vulnerable which will allow them to assess the trauma they have endured. It will allow the child to properly heal their fears and recover from the experience. A few tips to help you and your child navigate their healing journey:
Try to keep your anxieties to yourself. Sharing them with your child may make them feel worse. Do your best staying strong for your child and allowing them to come to you for reassurance. A brave face is what they need instead of picking up on the anxiety from their parents as well.
Don’t just listen to your child, empathize with them. Sometimes your child will respond with “I don’t know” or they will tell you their deepest feelings which may not be positive. Regardless, allow them to express themselves freely. Let your child know that it is okay to feel exactly how they are feeling.
Everyone Heals Differently
Understand where they are coming from and acknowledge that their healing journey may be different than what you expected. Sometimes they will want more alone time than usual other times they will want to spend more time with friends. Some children will express themselves through crying and other times they will not cry at all. Everyone expresses their emotions in a different way.
Your child may become overwhelmed and experience anxiety, sadness, grief, or anger. Reminding them to connect with their breath can be a helpful solution. A deep inhale through the nose allowing the belly to fill up with air, hold it for four seconds, exhale through the mouth slowly for six seconds. Repeat this breathing exercise three or four times during an emotional time to help the child relax.
Incorporate fun into your child’s life. Pick an activity they once enjoyed and encourage them to spend time doing said activity. It will help them relax and provide them some happiness. While providing them with normalcy, they will have something to look forward to.
Don’t lie to your child. If they ask you a question you do not know the answer to, tell them the honest truth. By following through on your promises, they will deem you as trustworthy.
For additional help or information, contact us.