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Friday, February 23, 2024

The Impact of Trauma on Children

Whenever any human being is subjected to trauma, it can cause damage and stress to not only the body but to the mind as well. Trauma may be obvious if it has physically occurred, but it may be harder to see and understand the trauma that individuals have when they have dealt with emotional or mental trauma.

Even when adults have experienced trauma, they can find it difficult to come up with the words to describe their experiences or even know how to reach out for help if they need it. This can be even more difficult for children.

Children’s emotional process and coping mechanisms when they have experienced stress will not be nearly as developed as an adult could be. It is important to understand the impact that trauma can have on children and how we can identify these signs in order to provide assistance for them as they work through these traumatic experiences.

Types of Trauma

Children can endure many different kinds of trauma and childhood trauma may be more common than you realize. Traumatic events and situations can occur anywhere from in the home, to at school, and even just out in public.

These events can have a mild to severe impact depending on the specific case and the individual child but all these events will have some sort of impact on the child. Trauma can experienced anywhere but some common events where trauma can happen to child could include:

  • Abuse – physical, mental, emotional, or sexual
  • Witnessing abuse
  • Natural disasters
  • War or terrorism experiences
  • Neglect or isolation
  • Violence – school, home, or community

These events can cause different feelings and have different outcomes based on who witnessed them. Trauma looks different in every individual, and the linger impacts from witnessing these events can be either short-term impacts or even long-term impacts. Knowing and recognizing these types of trauma can help you identify it in the lives of children.

The Effects of Experiencing Trauma

After enduring one or multiple traumatic events, especially at a young age, children can be subjected to multiple factors of stress in their lives. Understanding these impacts can help us, as adults, recognize the signs of trauma so that children can receive the help that they need to cope effectively and positively move forward.

Also Read: Designing an Effective First Aid Kit for Schools: Safety Beyond the Classroom

Some of the negative effects that come from experiencing trauma can manifest themselves in different ways and within different environments. In childhood, this could look like having learning and concentrating difficulties – whether at home or particularly in a school setting.

As a child gets older, these traumatic experiences and their effects can lead to behavioral problems and troubles with the law. These experiences also heavily impact mental health and can lead to physical health problems as well. 

Resources for Children

While the impact of trauma on children can be severe and disheartening, there are resources available to help children work through these difficult experiences and teach life-long coping skills to lead a positive life.

Back to school. Happy child and adult are sitting at desk. Girl doing homework or online education.

Children’s therapy St. George can provide peace and comfort to those struggling with these difficult experiences and wanting the support to feel better. Having a strong support system around these children will allow the opportunity to learn, grow and heal from what they have experienced and lean into a bright future.

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