Kaity Garcia | Boerne

Parenting a Child with Trauma

Kaity Garcia is an LPC-Associate under the supervision of Jeff Brown LPC-S

Parenting a child who has experienced trauma can be an emotional rollercoaster.  Though it can be filled with challenges, with the right approach, it can also be a road to healing and growth for both you and the child. 

Here are some quick tips on parenting we teach at Rivers Edge Counseling + Wellness:

Understanding Coping Mechanisms

When you notice your child displaying unusual behaviors like binging, hoarding, or repetitive rituals, remember that these may be their way of coping with past trauma. Approach these behaviors with empathy, without passing judgment.

Building Emotional Regulation

Most kids struggle with regulating their emotions to some degree but especially those with trauma. Teaching them how to regulate their feelings is crucial. Encourage them to express themselves and validate their emotions. The simple technique of "name it to tame it" can be a powerful tool to help them identify and manage their feelings effectively. Name the emotion so that you can tame the emotion! The first book I’d pick up is The Whole Brain Child where they spell all this out in detail. 

Managing Transitions and Change

Changes and transitions can be particularly challenging for children who have experienced trauma, often triggering anxiety. To make them feel secure, establish routines and communicate any changes in advance. Gradual transitions can help ease their fears.

Patience and Trust 

Trust and a sense of safety take time to build. Be patient and consistent in your support, letting your child know that you're there for them and that they can count on you.

Memory and Concentration Challenges

Trauma can affect a child's memory and concentration. Use visual aids like charts to help them stay organized and informed about daily routines and expectations. Be understanding if they need reminders; it's a part of their healing process.

Emotional Age vs. Chronological Age

Keep in mind that your child's emotional development may not align with their chronological age. Though they may be 12 physically they may not have the typical regulation skills as some of their peers. Approach them with the understanding that they may have emotional needs that reflect their past traumatic experiences.

Cultivating Honesty and Transparency 

Fostering an environment of honesty and transparency is vital. Encourage open communication and assure your child that they can talk about their feelings and experiences without fear of judgment or reprisal.

Seeking Professional Help 

Trauma-informed therapy and counseling can be a lifeline for both you and your child. A trained therapist can offer guidance and strategies tailored to your child's unique needs.

Remember, every child is unique, and the impact of trauma varies. Your journey may be challenging, but it's also an opportunity for healing and growth!

Kaity Garcia | Boerne

The thought of therapy can be new, scary, exciting, intimidating, relieving - whatever you might be feeling I am so glad you are here! My hope is that when you step into my office you feel safe, valued, and heard.