We have designed these pages for birth parents, adoptive parents, resource/foster parents, grandparents, caregivers, and all others who care for children and teens.We are using the words "child" or "children" to include adolescents.Culture often has a positive impact on how children, their families, and their communities respond, recover, and heal from a traumatic experience.However, culture also can increase a child’s risk for traumatic stress symptoms.Many factors contribute to symptoms including whether they have experienced trauma in the past (see section on Understanding Trauma for more information). When children have been in situations where they feared for their lives, believed that they would be injured, witnessed violence, or tragically lost a loved one, they may show signs of child traumatic stress.Parents want to protect their children from scary, dangerous, or violent events, but it is not always possible for them to protect their children from danger.It is helpful to be open about how you yourself are also still affected by reminders.
Were they interviewed by a principal, police officer, or counselor? Were your children actually at the place where the event occurred?
Did they see the event happen to someone else or were they a victim? Did they hear a loved one talk about what happened? Did you do your best to protect your child and make him or her feel safe? In general, children exposed to one traumatic event are less likely to develop traumatic stress reactions.
Did you believe that your child was telling the truth? Children continually exposed to traumatic events are more likely to develop traumatic stress reactions.
To learn more and access resources on families and trauma, click here. People often use the word “trauma” to refer to a traumatic event.
A trauma is a scary, dangerous, or violent event that can happen to anyone. An event can be traumatic when we face or witness an immediate threat to ourselves or to a loved one, often followed by serious injury or harm.