You Can Make a Difference

Healthy relationships with a caring adult can protect children from the effects of trauma. Opportunities for children to talk about what happened or play out their feelings about the trauma can start the healing process. Allow a child to tell their story without pressuring them to talk. You should be prepared to hear things that may upset you---adults
often do not realize how children absorb what’s happening around them and how much it affects them.

Children need to hear that it’s not their fault. Children blame themselves when bad things happen, so they need lots of reassurance from you. Acknowledge their feelings with statements such as “that sounds like it was really scary for you” or “it sounds like you were very worried when the police came.”

Other ways you can help include:

  • •  Ask a child what he or she is most worried about
  • •  Help a child to find ways to express their feelings such as drawing or journaling
  • •  Provide lots of structure for daily activities such as meals, homework, and bedtime so a
  •    child knows what to expect and prepare them for any changes in their daily routines
  • •  Help other caregivers to understand how trauma can affect a child and how to respond supportively
  • •  Reduce exposure to violent media such as television, video-games, and movies