How Parents & Caregivers Can Support a Child With PTSD

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Following a traumatic event, children or teens may develop symptoms of PTSD or other mental health disorders. As a parent or caregiver, however, you can take steps to help your child better manage and even overcome PTSD and anxiety. Here are 4 important tips to keep in mind.

1. Teach Your Child About Anxiety and PTSD

Your child may not fully understand the feelings that he or she is experiencing, and might even blame him or herself. You can help by talking to your child about anxiety and PTSD and explaining that there are real names for these feelings and that you would like to help understand what he or she is going through.

2. Be an Active Listener

When talking to your child about PTSD, engage him or her in a productive conversation. You can encourage them to ask questions and ensure them that the feelings they are having are not their fault.

On the other hand, don’t pressure your child to “get over” their PTSD symptoms too quickly. The best you can do is create an honest and loving environment to help them recover at their own pace.

3. Create Routines

Structure is an important component of rebuilding your child’s trust and sense of safety.

Try to create and follow regular routines for meals, homework and bedtime to help your child feel safe and secure again.

4. Seek Professional Treatment

If you find that your child’s anxiety or PTSD symptoms aren’t improving or are getting worse, don’t hesitate to talk to a professional to get your child the help he or she needs.