Children and their Trauma

Everything was fine, and suddenly the reluctance to go to school started… Even when she was a baby, she used to sleep in her own room, now she can’t sleep away from her mother… For the last 6 months, she is constantly restless and not sitting still… When she was a quiet child, she suddenly started to have tantrums… She was an extroverted child, suddenly she turned inward… like We often come across sentences.

So What Happens to Our Children?

Children enter a whole new process, which we usually do not know the answer to, and which adults cannot make sense of at such a moment. Nothing lived is left behind, unfinished business always comes after us. And many things become more meaningful, especially with pre-adolescence.

Sometimes, adults attribute this new process, which we cannot understand, to different reasons and do not try to understand the flashing storms inside their children, and as a result of a lot of neglect and delay, the child is left alone with the memory that he thinks he has left behind.

Sometimes adults don’t want to talk too much about traumatic events with their children to stifle their own worries; They act as if the event never happened or as if it didn’t matter. This causes children to produce their own scenarios, their own assumptions about events. However, the situation that the child constructs in his own mind makes the child very uncomfortable because it has uncertainties and is based on guesses.

Let’s not leave our children alone with their traumas…

Sometimes a great natural disaster, sometimes the teacher’s scolding at school..

Trauma can be defined as a situation that forces or exceeds the endurance of a person at an unexpected moment in the daily flow of life. In the formation of traumas, it is very important for the child to perceive the event as a threat to his life or the life of another person. The more directly threatening the event, the greater the impact.

It doesn’t have to be a major event for trauma to occur. The important thing is how the child perceives events and how it harms his sense of self.

Common Post Traumatic Behavior and Adjustment Problems in Children

Sudden changes observed after trauma in young children are more difficult to understand and more difficult to detect than older children. For example, because preschool children do not have a specific memory that they can remember after trauma, or because they cannot understand what or which memory hurt them, children may interact differently. For example; Sudden bedwetting behaviors, frequent nighttime nightmares, unexpected introversion at school or incompatible behavior with peers, sudden drops in classes.

Behaviors seen in older age groups are mostly sudden and frequent outbursts of anger, academic declines and developing phobic concerns.

What Period Does the Child Experience?

Preschool Trauma Symptoms:

Introversion, denial-ignoring, traumatic themes in games, fear of strangers as a result of anxious attachment, attachment to parents and attachment to loved objects, fears, behaviors under age due to regression situations.

Trauma Symptoms in Primary School Period:

Decreased performance, denial behaviors and falsehood, affect inconsistency, behavioral changes, psychosomatic problems.

Trauma Symptoms in Adolescence:

Behavioral problems such as loneliness, substance-alcohol consumption, delinquency, running away from home, suicidal thoughts, self-confidence problems, acting older or experiencing rapid puberty, excessive self-preoccupation and anger control problems.

Let’s Help Our Children After Traumatic Experiences

Talk to your children, try to understand how they feel!

Talking to the child after a traumatic experience positively affects the process of shaping this event in his mind and giving certain meanings. While doing these, it is important to provide information appropriate to your child’s age.
By understanding our children’s feelings and thoughts, a speech like “Yes, you are upset, I understand” will make the child more comfortable and will help him normalize his thoughts.

Don’t force your children who can’t or don’t want to talk to talk!

One of the situations that parents feel most nervous about is how to get their children to talk. If you are not sure that you will manage this process very well by talking, you can give your children the opportunity to play and paint. In this way, you enable them to express what they experience in their inner world. This situation, which is difficult to express even for you, is very difficult for children to transfer to painting. So tell your child often that you appreciate him as much as he can and that you love him very much.

Should we make excessive physical contact?

Another important issue is whether or not to have physical contact with your child. In this process, families want to touch, hug or kiss their children excessively to support their children. Let’s not forget that we have to be much more sensitive in such situations. So much so that there are some situations where your children’s physical touch may traumatize them even more and even cause them to make wrong connections about the events they have experienced. Such events are generally valid for children who have been abused, and sometimes they should also be considered for children who are physically overstimulated.

Try to get your kids back to their normal lives!

Emphasize to them that, like every event and situation, these days are temporary and that you are working to get things right as soon as possible. Whatever your children have done before, include them in daily life as soon as possible without disturbing their order, and give your children certain responsibilities.

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