Childhood trauma can be immensely damaging to a child in many ways. Not only can it be the leading cause of anxiety disorders, but it can also impact addiction, intimacy issues, and general mental health in adulthood. So how do you help your teen heal from such traumatic experiences? Here are some ways that parents can help their teens develop resilience by trauma therapy:
1) Start conversations about ‘stuff’
Of all the things you can do to help your teen, the most important is communication. Start talking about issues that may be upsetting them. Don’t ask a lot of questions, but rather simply listen and try to understand what they are going through.
2) Validate their feelings
Telling your teen that they are wrong or overreacting to something will only make them retreat from you, which is not helpful at all! Try to stay neutral and validate as much as you can by trauma therapy what they are feeling.
3) Keep the lines of communication open
Don’t let issues go unaddressed – even little problems can snowball into bigger ones. Don’t be afraid to ask your teen how they are feeling and what’s on their mind. Make it clear that you are available to them at all times, so they don’t feel like they have to hide their feelings from you.
4) Respond, don’t react
The worst thing you can do when your teen is troubled by something is to let your own emotions get the best of you. Try to avoid making assumptions about what they may be thinking, and instead try to listen as objectively as possible.
5) Allow your teen to be independent
Encourage them to find new ways of expressing themselves (i.e. art, writing). Give them the chance to explore themselves in trauma therapy ways that don’t necessarily involve talking.
6) Take them out into nature
Nature has been shown to have a positive impact on the brain and can make people feel more peaceful and relaxed. Encourage your teen to spend some time in the great outdoors to achieve a greater sense of calm.
7) Keep an eye on their mental health
Your teen may not always seem like they need the help of trauma therapy, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything wrong with them! If they show signs of depression or anxiety, get them professional help from a counselor or therapist.
Other Ways To Heal From a Mental Trauma
- Seek professional help. – Besides talking to someone about your child’s problems, go to a counselor or therapist if they are showing signs of anxiety or depression.
- Engage in self-care. – Set aside some time each day to focus on your wellbeing. Practicing yoga, meditating, or simply taking a long bath can be very effective in helping you focus and relax.
- Establish healthy relationships with others. – Lean on your family and friends if you need trauma therapy support. If your child is feeling lonely, encourage them to make new friends.
- Stick to a healthy diet. – Eating a nutritious diet that’s rich in nutrients and fiber can help you stay healthy mentally and physically.
- Get involved in an activity that allows you to express yourself freely – whether it’s art, music, or dance, something creative can be a great outlet for pent-up emotions.
- Practice mindfulness. – Mindfulness is a technique that brings you into the present moment to experience the world without judgment or attachment. Try focusing on your breathing and simply be in the here and now.
- Exercise regularly. – Exercising can help with anxiety, depression, stress, and general mental health problems. Keep yourself active and your body will thank you!
- Drink plenty of water. – Dehydration can cause you to feel tired and sluggish, so stay hydrated throughout the day to keep yourself alert and awake.
- Don’t self-medicate. – If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, avoid taking alcohol or drugs to cope with it. Doing so will only make your problems worse in the long run.
- Get enough sleep. – Many people underestimate the importance of sleep, but it really can make a big difference in your mental health.
How Helpful Meditation and Exercise Can Be Helpful?
Many teenagers have problems with sleeping and sometimes they are so stressed with the way their lives are, they can’t get any sleep and that’s why they use alcohol or drugs to cope with their stress. Then the problems continue to build and become worse.
If you have teenagers and know that they have a problem with drinking or using drugs then I highly recommend you try meditation with them as a way of trauma therapy. Meditation is extremely helpful for many people to deal with alcohol addiction, stress, PTSD as well as other mental health issues. You may have to try a few different types of meditation with your teenager, but I am sure you will find one they like.
Exercise is also great to help a teenager deal with stress and anxiety. If they are used to being sedentary, then you need to be extremely mindful that the change in routine can cause more problems. However, if they can get onto an exercise routine then it should help them, along with the meditation, cope much better than if they were doing nothing.
Together, meditation and exercise can help your teen take control of their lives and not rely on substances to cope with a stressful life and traumatic experiences.
Being a teenager has been known to be one of the most difficult times in any person’s life. With all the hormones and emotional changes that occur, it’s easy for teens to feel overwhelmed by everything. In addition, experience from some tragic incidents can leave them extremely traumatized and trauma therapy is the best way to sort that up.
How can you help your teenager heal their trauma?
First, you must get to know what happened. Do everything in your power to try and shield your child from the details of the incident. Let them cry, grieve and then begin to tell their story. This will be one of the most important steps towards healing and moving on as a family. While they are telling it, try to listen without judging them or telling them how they feel or should feel.
Reassure them that what happened is not their fault. They did nothing wrong and they are not bad people.
Talk to your teenager about how they are feeling and what they have experienced. Be sure to let them talk and ask any questions they may have. They will most likely be confused and need answers. In this case, you mustn’t rush them and give them all the time in the world to get their answers if that is what it takes for them to heal properly.
Be sure to help your child overcome their overwhelming feelings of guilt. If they believe that it was their fault, then they will never be able to move on and they will always see themselves as the bad guy or guilty one. It’s your job to make them understand that no matter what happens, they are in no way responsible for it. Let them know that it was not their choice and because of what happened to them, they deserve an education, a stable job, a family, and happiness.
How Important is It to Guide Your Child Through This Process?
It is impossible to tell someone how to heal from trauma, but sometimes parents and caregivers are forced to play the role of a therapist and counselor to provide trauma therapy to their kids. This can be extremely difficult for some parents, especially if they were not raised with a lot of love and understanding.
Children can’t always understand what they are going through or what they need, so you need to guide them in the right direction. It isn’t easy being the parent of a teenager because you know that the hardest years of their lives will soon become.
That’s why we urge you to do everything that trauma therapy includes. You can help your child cope with their trauma and allow them to heal properly. Be sure that they get the support they need. Encourage them to join a group or therapy sessions and talk about it as often as possible.
Keep in mind that some teens may not have any desire to talk about what happened or even go into therapy. They may feel very guilty or ashamed of what happened. However, it is crucial that they talk about their feelings and how they are feeling.
Regardless, sometimes talking about their experiences or problems will help them feel more comfortable to move on. If your teen does not have therapy sessions, there are plenty of other options for support such as Internet forums, mental health support groups, social media, and other resources.
If you are a parent struggling to help your teen through the trauma they endured, you can do it. You are the parent and you know best, so take charge and help guide your children to the path of healing. Tell them how much you love them, listen to their stories, be patient with their emotions, reassure them that it’s not their fault, guide them in therapy sessions or any other help they may need for healing.
Remember that this is a process that will take time and be different for everyone. It may be difficult at first to accept your role in trauma therapy, but once you understand that you can be there for your children, then it will become a lot easier.
Nevertheless, you have a very important role in helping them cope with their trauma and move on with their lives.