How to Help Your Child Cope with a Traumatic Event
Traumatic incidents can happen to anyone. A child, however, lacks the coping skills that adults have and are particularly vulnerable to traumatic events. You may feel powerless when your child goes through a traumatic event such as a death in the family or a violent attack. A child may often feel confused and overwhelmed when these types of incidents occur. There are several steps you can take to reassure your child and make sure he or she processes what has happened in a healthy manner. These steps include both personal interaction between you and your child as well as therapeutic treatments. A pediatric physical therapist can help your child reduce stressful symptoms as well as assist your child in overcoming the trauma with techniques such as targeted exercise and massage therapy.
1. Be Patient and Calm
Your child is looking to you for stability in an unstable and frightening world. During a difficult experience you should attempt to project both patience and calm when around your child. If you’re also struggling with what has recently occurred it’s important not to be overly emotional or upset in front of your child.
2. Maintain a Routine
Children need routine and order in their lives to feel safe and secure. A child’s emotional stability is often grounded in daily routines and familiar faces. When a traumatic event occurs, a family’s routine will often get disrupted. It’s necessary for you to keep everything from dinner and bedtime schedules to extracurricular activities as normal as possible.
3. Pay Attention to Your Child
A difficult event can cause even adults to withdraw. You may feel awkward during this time and not know what to say to your child. It’s important, however, to pay attention to your child and listen to what he or she has to say. Older children are more There were no Copyscape matches found. likely to be silent even though they are still struggling with the weight of a traumatic event. It’s important to encourage them to express their feelings.
4. Connect Body and Mind
A healthy body-mind connection can be an important coping strategy after a tragic event. Pediatric physical therapy may help your child reduce the stress and move past a traumatic event. Specific massages and exercises can help your child relieve tension and develop healthy coping mechanisms. It’s important to find a pediatric physical therapist that can help both children and adults cope with trauma that has occurred in their lives.