WHEN PARENTS ARE TRAUMA INFORMED THEY ARE BETTER EQUIPPED TO HELP THEIR CHILDREN HEAL
What is a Trauma Informed Parent?
At the age of 5, “Lauren’s” son survived a traumatizing car crash that left him both physically and emotionally scarred. Ten years later, Lauren finds her son continuing to grapple with the emotional residue. He is prone to severe anxiety, prolonged loss of concentration and depression. After a visit to the dentist for a minor toothache, Lauren’s son was sent home with a prescription for Vicodin, a powerful narcotic pain reliever with an extremely high risk for abuse. Lauren stepped in to inform the dentist of her son’s trauma history. Victims of trauma or adverse childhood experiences, particularly teenagers whose brains are not fully developed, are at high risk for substance abuse; a correlation too few medical professionals inquire about when prescribing painkillers. Lauren informed the dentist of her son’s history and asked that something less addictive or over the counter be offered instead.
This is being a trauma informed parent.
A Trauma Informed Parent:
- Understands that an event does not have to be catastrophic in order to be “traumatic” and that symptoms of trauma can manifest following any highly stressful experience that causes lasting emotional or physical effects.
- Is better equipped to help their child cope with and rise above trauma related health issues or post-traumatic stress
- Appreciates their children’s unique temperaments recognizing that while a divorce to one child may be a bump in the road, to another it can be devastating.
- Is aware of ACES: (Adverse Childhood Experiences Study) and knows where to find help should their child’s score warrant attention.
- Knows that post-traumatic stress can mimic other issues such as ADHD, emotional outbursts, body aches, isolation, social problems and poor school performance.
- Understands that the effects of trauma may not reveal themselves for months or even years after an event has occurred.
- Is better equipped to communicate with and guide their child’s physicians in diagnosing and treating health issues.