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5 Tips on helping your child after a traumatic event

5 Tips on helping your child after a traumatic event

Traumatic events and natural disasters have a significant impact on all of our lives but with a few easy steps you can be better prepared for these situations. Here is our advice for helping parents help their children overcome the stress, disruption and anxiety created from events such as natural disasters, loss of loved ones or car accidents.

Here are some ways to help your child through these processes:

1. Take the time to talk

We encourage parents to sit down and have a conversation with their children to make sure they understand what happened. As children go back to school, they are likely to share stories with friends about their experience and this may increase stress and anxiety having to hear about the event again.

2. Listen to your child

Allow them to open up and express what they are feeling. Reassurance is vital. Reassure them you love them; they are safe and everything they are feeling is normal. Encourage your children to express themselves in whichever way is appropriate for them. Drawing, writing and painting are all different forms and outlets for expression. It is important to let your child know that you are listening – not telling them how to feel, but simply saying that you understand how they feel.

3. Limit television and news coverage

Overexposure of the traumatic event can increase a child’s stress and anxiety. Parents should be mindful of the conversations they are having and the news they are watching when children are around. Try watching the television and listening to the news when the children are in bed or are occupied. Explain what is seen on the news so children can understand the scope of the disaster in comparison to their lives.

4. Maintain daily routines

Although this may be difficult, try and follow your usual daily routines as much as possible. Routines help provide a sense of stability and security for children. Encourage your child to get up in the mornings at his or her regular time. Eat as close as possible to your regular schedule.

5. Be proactive and active

Play games, go for a walk, read a book, take the initiative to help keep your child active. Not only will this activity keep children occupied, it will help keep their minds off the current situation.

These are just a few of many tips on how to help your child through this process. We hope you won’t need to utilize these tips in the near future but hopefully these help you feel more prepared.