4 Ways to Help Your Child Cope with a Traumatic Event

February 17th, 2020
Child counselor and ADHD girl

It’s normal for children to feel scared, confused and worried after a traumatic event. It’s challenging enough to deal with any physical or behavioral issues that are already present – and the traumatic event can make everything feel even worse for your child. The good news is that by working closely with your physical therapist in a comprehensive physical therapy program, you can help your child cope quite effectively. The better that your child is able to cope, the easier it will be for you as a parent, too. Today’s blog covers some of the best tips for helping your child cope with a traumatic event. Our physical therapy team is also happy to help, so contact us for an appointment any time.

Avoid Media Exposure

If your child isn’t coping well with a traumatic event that’s on the news, on social media, and all over the internet, it will only make it worse to continue that exposure. A child who is already experiencing problems coping will possibly grow overwhelmed if they keep seeing and hearing about the traumatic event.

Keep the television off, and closely monitor all internet usage. Instead of spending time staring at a screen, your child can do other things, including going to physical therapy appointments at their physical therapist’s office.

Correct Wrong Information

If your child has some mistaken ideas about the traumatic event, or if they believe misinformation about the event, calmly and firmly correct these ideas, but don’t dwell on them. Let your child know that things aren’t always quite as they appear and that this event is one of those situations.

If your child has questions, don’t hesitate to answer them. However, don’t extend the conversation any longer than is really necessary. Never force your child to discuss the event. Make sure they have the right info, don’t overwhelm them, and let them know that you’re there if they have questions or want to talk more.

Enjoy Time Outdoors

As your child’s physical therapist will tell you, physical activity is a great way to release endorphins. Your child could really use the extra blast of mood-boosting endorphins when they’re trying to cope with trauma, and it doesn’t have to be limited to physical therapy appointments. Check with your physical therapist about outdoor activities that are safe for your child.

You might need to try out a few different things in addition to regular physical therapy. Consider swimming, hiking, biking, or any other activity that your physical therapist recommends as a good supplement to physical therapy. Your child is sure to find an activity they really enjoy, and it will help them get their mind off the traumatic event very effectively.

Focus on Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is important to give your child the energy and stamina to do their physical therapy program successfully, and it’s also a very helpful way of coping with trauma. The more processed and sugary foods that your child eats, the more likely they are to feel run down, stressed, and unhappy. A poor diet makes trauma worse, often intensifying symptoms like fear and anxiety.

If you focus your child’s diet on lean proteins, lots of fresh produce, and fat from healthy sources (Omega 3 fatty acids like those found in salmon and other fish), you’ll be helping them cope more effectively. A healthy overall diet can be good for both mental and physical health, and you’ll probably notice a positive change quickly.

The tips above can help your child cope with trauma, but you still need the support of your physical therapy team. Contact Oceanside Therapy Group in Oceanside, CA today to arrange a visit with one of our expert physical therapists for your child.

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