Trauma should never be underestimated. What doesn’t affect you might severely impact your child. A car accident might only leave you with a bump and a bruise, but if your child watched the whole thing happen from the back seat and felt helpless, this could result in PTSD. It doesn’t matter how severe the accident was; it was the fear for their life and their inability to control the situation.
Never underestimate trauma. Instead, be aware of what scenarios may cause trauma and more importantly, how to spot signs of trauma in your teen.
Know the Signs of Trauma
Be familiar with the signs of trauma:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anger or mood swings
- Hyper states
- Feeling of numbness
Encourage Open Dialogue
You want your teen to talk to you, but you should be aware that communication doesn’t have to occur face to face. Meeting them at a middle ground can help them explain themselves and how they feel. Some might not want to do this face to face because they don’t want to break down and cry.
You could try using tech tools. Texting, emailing, or even writing letters. You could have a mood board that your teen can use to let you know how they feel without saying it aloud. Find the best way to get your teen to talk to you, even if talking is off the table.
Know When to Seek Out Therapy
A traumatic experience will affect all survivors in different ways. The severity of the trauma also comes into play. A car accident can result in PTSD, for example, but trauma can range from whiplash to hyper states. Physical or sexual abuse, on the other hand, has a much more profound effect on victims, and the extent of the trauma worsens the longer the abuse goes on.
If your teen is exhibiting signs of trauma, turning to addiction, or becoming depressed and anxious, or developing PTSD, this is out of your control. You are not equipped to deal with this any more than they are, which is when you need to seek out therapy from an in-patient treatment center like igniteteentreatment.com.
For cases of abuse, however, you should always look for therapy options to help your child process what has happened to them and build the necessary coping mechanisms. Trauma from accidents you can keep an eye on to see their response, but abuse is another beast entirely that will need professional help.
Learn How to Help Your Child At Home
When you seek out professional help, one aspect that will be of most use to you as a parent is the advice and skills the treatment center will teach you. Trauma is not something you get over after easily or quickly. Some might never get over it at all. They learn to cope. You need to help them cope at home by following the directives of the professionals who are dealing directly with your child’s case.
Make home a safe space, and help them grow strong so that they can stand on their own two feet, rather than be beaten down by their trauma.