Tips for Talking to Children After a Traumatic Event
Children may have difficulty processing a traumatic event that they witness or see on TV. Here are some tips for talking to your child after a traumatic event:
- Give children multiple opportunities to talk about their experience or draw what they are feeling.
- Promote open communication by being a listener and a discussion facilitator so that they feel comfortable sharing their concerns.
- Use helpful phrases such as:
- "I'm glad you are sharing these thoughts... it helps us all to understand our own reactions."
- "Your reaction is not an uncommon response to such an event."
- Avoid using the phrase, "You shouldn't feel that way." It can come across as being judgmental.
- Maintain your regular routine of meals, bedtime, etc., as soon as possible.
- Symptoms may appear immediately or weeks to months after a traumatic event.
- Consult a mental health professional if you have concerns.
Community Health Network offers a free 24/7 crisis and referral phone line at 317-621-5700 to support families and members of our community.