How to Cope with Trauma as a Caregiver
When your child experiences a difficult event, it affects you too. You may feel all kinds of emotions. This is normal. Shock, anger, guilt, and sadness are a few of the feelings you may have. If you experienced a difficult event in the past, this may bring up old memories and feelings. Coping with these feelings will help your child’s recovery.
Ways to Cope
- Take care of you so you can take care of your child.
- Remind yourself of the good things in your life.
- Give yourself time to feel whatever you are feeling.
- Identify your support people, personal or professional, and reach out.
- Name and use your strengths. Remind yourself of times you overcame other challenges.
- Create a plan with your child to help you both feel safer about the future.
- Set small goals and celebrate when you reach them.
Take Care of You
Parenting is hard enough and a difficult event can make it more challenging to be at your best. When you take time to listen to your own needs you will help your child.
- Stop and take five deep breaths throughout the day.
- Spend some time in nature.
- Stop and listen to the sounds around you.
- Go for a walk.
- Call a friend.
- Write down three things you are grateful for.
- Read a book.
Remember That Healing Takes Time
If you or your child are in immediate danger, call 911. There are many professionals who can help you.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or 988
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
- National Domestic Violence Support: 1-800-799-SAFE
- National Parent Help Hotline: 1-855-4A-PARENT
- Parent Stress Line: 1-800-632-8188