CBN Myanmar


For parents

What is trauma?

A distressing or frightening experience that can challenge your child’s sense of security and the predictability of their world, such as life-threatening car accidents, bushfires, floods, sudden illness, death in the family, crime, abuse and violence in the community, either experienced in person or through the media.

A child’s response to a trauma will depend on a wide range of factors, including their age, stage of development, personality, and the impact of the crisis on their parents or significant others.

Trauma reactions on child may include:
  1. Withdrawal: Loss of interest in activities
  2. Preoccupation: Such as through repetitive play or drawings (only focusing on one perspective for a long time).
  3. Anxiety: Problems with concentrating or paying attention, they can show a clingy behavior, or it can be separation anxiety, sleep problems and irritable behavior.
  4. Physical symptoms: Such as headaches and stomachaches.
How to talk with the children about the traumatic events?
  1. Reassure your child that they are safe
  2. Listen to your child well. Take their concerns and feelings seriously.
  3. Let your child know that you would like to hear about how things are for them.
  4. Tell your child about what happened in a way that is appropriate to their level of understanding and without going into frightening and lurid detail
  5. Make sure your child do not jump to any wrong conclusions.
  6. Talk about the event as a family. Allow everyone in the family to talk, including children. This helps everyone to overcome isolation.
  7. Tell them their feelings are normal in these circumstances and reassure them that they will gradually feel better.
Parents’ responses to their child’s traumatic events are important. How to respond?

Parents can be more understanding to their child, give them extra attentions, talk about the feelings to them in an appropriate way, give the child a sense of control over their life, and try not to be overly protective of their child.

Some practical strategies for parents to help their child recover from trauma, are:
  1. Allow your child to play and enjoy some recreational activities
  2. Allow time for fun (through laughter for example)
  3. Make sure your child have enough sleep
  4. Involve them in some physical exercises
  5. Help your children to be relax (through warm baths, massages, story time, or cuddles)
  6. Intervene an activity that can make your child upset or anxious.