An accident can be very traumatic for a young child, whether they or a family member were the victim. Helping them to recover emotionally should be your priority, and there are some useful ways to work through the confusing emotions with them.
It’s very important to make sure your child feels safe after an upsetting event has occurred. Small children may appreciate some extra cuddles to give them a feeling of security. That secure feeling is important after something has frightened and disturbed them.
Try and stay calm. Your children will be looking to you for reassurance during this period of upheaval. While of course, it’s natural for you to be upset or anxious too, try not to discuss your own concerns with the children, or when they may hear. Children are very perceptive about anxiety to try and stay calm. If one of your worries is about supporting the family after you’ve been in an accident, consider seeking compensation. Whether you need a car accident attorney or spinal cord injury lawyers, consult an expert for advice.
Try to maintain a routine as much as you can. An accident is sure to cause change, which can be upsetting for little ones. Where you can, stick to normal routines, such as the normal meal and bedtimes to reassure children that life will go on and return to normal. Encourage the kids to carry on doing things that they enjoy. Play is a great distraction and will help the kids to feel like things are more normal.
Share information about what happened yourself. While you should make sure the information is age-appropriate, it’s far better for them to learn about what happened from you. Hearing it from an adult they love and trust will be easier. Be brief and honest, and encourage them to ask you any questions they might have.
Children cope in different ways to adults. Your children may want to spend more time with their friends, or they withdraw and want to be alone. Whatever they choose, respect it and let them do what they need to do to feel better. Talk to them about how they feel and let them know that, whether they feel angry, sad or confused, that it’s all okay and normal. Explain that however they want to express those feelings is okay too.
When they talk about their feelings, be sure to listen well. You want to understand how your child feels about what has happened, and what is worrying them. Don’t lecture, just listen and try to understand. Try to let them know they can tell you anything, at any time.
Acknowledge their feelings. If your child tells you about something they’re worrying about, try to respond in a way that takes it seriously. Don’t dismiss their worries. Take any concerns they may have seriously, even if they seem like small worries to you. Discuss their worries and help them work through whatever is upsetting them.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.