Something BIG happened in your child’s life and you don’t know how to help them through it. What do you do as a parent? As a child therapist who works with a lot of kiddos who are going through a crisis event here are 3 things that I found to be helpful.
Stop what you are doing and as a parent and assess, name or talk about what is going on or happened with your child. You don’t have to have all the answers in a crisis, but assessing or talking/naming the situation is a helpful step one.
Why? Talking gets the story narrative of a crisis situation outside of your body even if for a moment and begins to help you as a parent understand what they saw or feel happened. It also is a way to encourage slowing the body down and taking deep breaths which can decrease feelings of panic in some.
After you have assessed or named what happened look for helpers and safe places. Once you have identified people, animals or places that can provide help and safety, lead your child to them or how to access them in need.
For example: If there is a death or an accident in the family and the child has to go back to school looking for helpers could be meeting the school resource teacher or social worker and asking for support or a safe place if needing space to process or take a break from the day’s regular routine.
Listen to your child’s feelings about the crisis. Listen with your eyes as well as ears. Trust your parent intuition if something “feels off”. Check in on their feelings regularly, asking open ended questions like “I wonder how you are feeling about ____________’s accident” as well as making statements to show you are listening and seeing your child. These statements of support can be as simple as “you look sad, want to cuddle for a bit?”
If you as a parent are struggling in the crisis along with your child and don’t feel able to Stop, Look and Listen for your child you may need additional resources and support. If this is you we are here to help! Parenting is challenging, in or out of life crisis but we’ve got you covered. Give one of our therapists a call today for a free consult.
Owner | Child Therapist | LCPC, RPT
Parenting is hard! But you don’t have to do it alone. I work with children and parents to resolve emotional conflict, cultivate healing, and nurture hope.
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