Children in Trauma

How Can You Help Your Child?

Encourage your child to talk about their feelings and share your own feelings with them.

Do not criticize or shame the child for their fears.

Encourage the child to draw about their feelings.

Spend extra time with your child, especially at bedtime.

Praise and recognize responsible behaviors.

Relax rules, but maintain family structure and responsibilities.

Work closely with teachers, day-care personnel, babysitters, who may not understand how a disaster may affect a child.

Hold your child. Touching provides extra reassurance.

If your child awakens with nightmares, reassure them and stay with them until they go back to sleep.

Encourage your child to take positive action by helping in the clean-up.

Try to avoid any additional changes or stresses that are not absolutely necessary.

Role play with the child the appropriate steps to take in the event of another disaster. Set up and practice safety procedures.

Help child commemorate loss of friends or loved ones.