Wellbeing

Talking To Young Children After Traumatic Events

Discussing traumatic events with children is crucial for helping them understand and accept what's happening in their world.
Talking To Young Children After Traumatic Events Talking To Young Children After Traumatic Events

 

When traumatic events happen in our community, often our first instinct is to shield and protect children from the shock, fear or worry by not talking about these events with or in front of them. In fact, talking to children about these events is important to help them understand, make sense, and accept what is happening in their world.  

  • Take the time and space to talk openly for as long as the child needs, this will vary depending on your child and what you want or need to share with them.  
  • Ask open ended questions. What have you heard? What did you see or hear? Do you have any questions?  
  • Share simple and basic details. Children want to know the truth of events but also, we don’t need to share all the details.  
  • Let them know that what they are feeling is ok and it’s good to talk about how you feel.  
  • Ensure you create a safe and open space to ask more questions and talk more.  
  • Share your own feelings. When you talk about your feelings and children see your emotions, it helps develop their own emotional intelligence and resilience 
  • Drawing, art, pretend play, playing with dolls and role play games, can also help children explore their feelings & thoughts. 
  • Stick to usual routines as it helps children normalise their feelings and gain understanding that during these times the world continues around them.        
  • Encourage children to attend preschool, childcare, or school if possible. 

For further information:  

Traumatic events, children, first response | Raising Children Network 

Helping-my-Children-after-Trauma-–-A-Guide-for-Parents.pdf (phoenixaustralia.org) 

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