Pointers for Parents are regular inspirations to bring hope and encouragement to parents. I hope to build a bridge between parents and teachers as it pertains to the education of children and how we can work together for the betterment of our kids.
Dealing with Trauma Induced Emotions in Children
I have done enough work with trauma to know that the current times are going to have a long-term effect on our children. Whenever there is an immediate threat of danger, children absorb it into their psyche. It happened after 9-11 and it is happening now. When the threat is lifted, their emotions remain the same as if it was still hovering over them. It is important for parents to know this so they can observe and support their kids.
Sudden outbursts of tears or anger are to be expected. When these emotions born of grief and loss surface, kids need reassurance that their feelings are valid. They need a safe place to vent and feel heard. They will be confused by these roller coaster moods and discussion as to why their reactions are so close to the surface will be comforting to them.
It is also completely appropriate to tell them you have the same feelings of grief and loss. In fact, when they see your frustration at the situation it will connect them to you. It will teach them empathy and compassion for others. Letting them see your vulnerability is a teachable moment in which you can relate to one another. It is a good thing.
All of us can survive when we are in it together, giving each other grace. When show them how to acknowledge painful things, and then how to move through the pain we develop healthier happier kids and trauma, while still present, doesn’t have the last word.