• Children are impacted by trauma in a myriad of ways. The National Association of School Psychologists provides guidance in supporting students who are experiencing trauma.

    What to do: 
    Adults can help reestablish security and stability for these children in a number of ways.

    • Recognize and be sensitive to the fact that problem behaviors can be the manifestation of trauma-related anxiety

    • Help children manage their feelings by teaching and modeling effective coping strategies

    • Answer children's questions related to the traumatic event(s) in honest, developmentally appropriate language and terms

    • Create clear and concrete safety plans with the child

    • Engage them in activities that stimulate the mind and body

    • Expand their "feelings" vocabulary so they can more easily express themselves

    • Promote family activities to bring them closer to the ones they love 
      • Maintain usual routines

    • Watch for changes in behaviors

    • Allow children to tell the story of the trauma they experienced, as they see it, so they can begin to release their emotions and make sense of what happened

    • Respond calmly and compassionately, but without displaying shock or judgment
      • Reassure children that the adults in their life are working to keep them safe

      • Set boundaries and limits with consistency and patience

    • Remind them repeatedly how much you care for them

    • Give them choices to regain a sense of control

    • Encourage and support them

    • Anticipate challenging times or situations that may be reminders of the event and provide additional support

    • Provide children who are acting out with opportunities to redirect their energy in a helpful way such as giving them additional responsibilities or leadership roles