Build Trust After A Traumatic Situation Occurs

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How To Regain Your Child’s Trust After A Traumatic Situation Occurs

Children’s trust becomes shattered when they experience or witness traumatic events.  They may begin to experience difficulties trusting the people closest to them, including their parents. Children and teens often live in fear of what could happen next.

To overcome a traumatic experience, children and teens need their parents to remain calm and supportive.  Following a trauma, many kids do not believe that the world is safe or that adults will protect them from further harm.

Your child needs you to become their secure base following a traumatic situation.  You can do this by being emotionally available when they need to talk, and sensitive when they just need you to listen.  As  a parent, you can learn when not to push and when to hold back.  Your children need you to be their guide to healthier functioning.


Help Your Child Through Trauma

  1. Listen To Them
    I cannot encourage this enough. It sounds so simple right? Yet, so many parents want to have solutions to their children’s traumatic experiences. Sometimes listening it the solution. Listen and provide empathy; don’t judge; be present.
  2. Be Patient
     There is no timetable for healing from trauma.  Each child’s journey to recovery is unique.  Offering comfort  and reassurance when needed is best.
  3. Accept Their Feelings
    Sadness, anxiety, depression are all normal reactions to trauma and will decrease over time. Creating a safe environment for children to express these feelings is key.
  4. Make Home A Safe Place
     Your home should be a place of peace, comfort and security; try to eliminate stress and chaos; reduce conflict and show unconditional love.
  5. Promote A Sense of Control
    Reverse the feeling of helplessness to hope.  Help them to believe that they can successfully deal with challenges.

Rebuilding trust after a traumatic event takes time, patience and dedication.  It also takes a great deal of inner strength to guide your child through this difficult time.  Children need to learn that adults can be dependable and consistent to feel safe again.

Dr. Sue Cornbluth is a nationally recognized parenting expert in high conflict parenting situations. She is a regular mental health contributor for an array of networks and television shows such as NBC, FOX and CBS. Dr. Sue has also contributed to several national publications. Her new best-selling book,Building Self Esteem in Children and Teens who are Adopted or Fostered is available now. To find out more about her work, please visit Dr. Sue’s website

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