Unfortunately, we live in a world where traumatic events occur relatively frequently. Talking with children about these events in an age appropriate way can be very healthy and therapeutic. It can reduce the stress, anxiety and depression that children can feel when they do not have a safe outlet to discuss their feelings. The good news is that children are very resilient, and with a little help can work through their feelings and move forward.
Tips to talking to your children about traumatic events:
Your child wants more than anything to know they are safe and that you are in control. It’s ok and healthy to show your feelings, but be careful to be in control. Children want to know that you can keep them safe, and the more in control you appear, the safer they feel. Before you talk with your child, work through your own feelings. Practice what you want to say to your child, and say it in a casual way. Instead of sitting your child down and having a serious discussion, which can raise their anxiety, talk with them in a casual setting, e.g., while watching TV, playing a video game, etc., and answer any questions that they have in an age appropriate manner.
Some reactions that your child might be having include:
If your child is having a difficult time and is having any of these reactions, seek help right away. The sooner you get help the better your child will be able to work through their feelings.
If you would like assistance please contact the Lawyer Assistance Program for free, confidential counseling. Jim Quinn, Lawyer Assistance Director, 443.703.3041, email@example.com or Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C,CAC, Lawyer Assistance Counselor, 443.703.3042, firstname.lastname@example.org. Toll free 800.492.1964.