A pioneer in mental health care for children
- About Bradley Hospital
- For Parents and Caregivers
- Mental Health Conditions and Treatments
- Planning Your Visit
- Parenting Matters Minute
- Parenting Articles
- Childhood Chores
- Healthful Leisure
- How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen
- How to Talk So Your Parents Will Listen
- Talking to Kids About Tough Economic Times
- Talking About Diseases in the News
- Helping Kids and Teens Cope With Traumatic Events
- Talking with Kids about Tragedy
- Talking to Children About Sexual Abuse
- Teens and Domestic Violence
- Helping Your Child Take Medication
- Growth and Development
- Emotional and Behavioral Health
- General Parenting Articles
- Parenting in the Digital Age
- Tips for Handling School Avoidance
- Healthy Family Magazine
- Family Advisory Council
- Family Liaison Program
- Resources for Parents
- Nutrition: What We Offer
- Children's Behavioral Health Resources
- Pet Visitation at Bradley Hospital
- Insurance and Billing
- Our Centers & Services
- Our Locations
- Parenting Matters
- Bradley Hospital Social Work Series
- Giving to Bradley Hospital
- Nursing at Bradley Hospital
Helping Kids and Teens Cope With Traumatic Events
Sort out your own feelings of anxiety and uncertainty with other adults first and on an ongoing basis. Kids pick up on attitudes and feelings of their parents so parents need to get support.
Present factual information. Don't assume that kids, especially under age 8 or 9, will really understand what it means. They need you to put the facts into perspective.
Convey realistic confidence in their safety. Parents need to express more certainty with younger children and deal with real ambiguity in older kids.
Watch TV with your kids and keep the amount of exposure within reason. Children will likely be exposed to media images of these tragedies.
Keep to a routine, the usual schedule (e.g., take your kids to soccer practice as usual).
Schedule a formal family meeting to discuss the facts and feelings in a calm, orderly fashion.
Use your family traditions, beliefs and religious practices as well as your extended support network as sources of strength and a way to find meaning and comfort.
If your child shows prolonged signs of stress, seek help from your pediatrician or local mental health center. A certain amount of anxiety is to be expected.
Frightening events cause a flooding of emotion and sorting out feelings usually happens over time. The optimum time to debrief is after 3 days but it is not a one-time event. It is a process that happens over time.