For children, there are tragic and unpleasant experiences that have lasting impacts. Moreover, there are numerous situations that might affect your childhood, and can cause you trauma throughout your life. Here’s a look at 5 situations that might affect a child and what you can do about them.
Abuse is a situation that can influence a child throughout their life, regardless of what type of abuse they have endured. In some cases, a child has been subject to sexual, emotional, or physical abuse, and the effects are not quick to go away if they do at all.
This is also the case if they were exposed to neglect as a child. A baby may not have had its needs met at a crucial time of development, which has a potential to cause issues down the line, and possibly for the rest of their life.
Divorce is another occurrence that can have an impact on a child. This is because they may not understand why their parents are divorcing and want to keep their family together. This might cause them to distrust adults in certain situations, or encounter problems with relationships as an adult. Additionally, a child might start to act out at home and school because they have lost trust in some of the adults that they care about.
Something else that may greatly affect a child is a natural disaster. Unfortunately, extreme weather conditions cannot be avoided. If your offspring lives through a storm where they lose their possessions, their home, or they witnessed something disturbing, this is something that could take time to process. A child may start to be afraid whenever it starts to rain, or they hear about natural disasters in other countries. The COVID pandemic may also cause a child to have anxiety, since it has altered so many aspects of life.
Experiencing a Loss
A child might be affected when they suffer a loss as well. This may be a beloved grandfather or a pet. Either way, they may experience grief which can be difficult for them to work through. Depending on their age, they may not have a grasp on what death is and why it occurs, which can trouble them in different ways.
Mental Health Condition
At times, a child may experience the symptoms of a mental health condition. Keep in mind that many mental health issues are genetic, and there is a chance that your child can develop one. Not all conditions will show signs during childhood, but it is possible. This can be something like depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety.
Keep in mind that all children will not develop emotional, behavioral, or mental health problems because they experienced one or more of these situations growing up. However, there is a chance that any child that experiences one of these circumstances could become traumatized by it or may need mental health support sometime in their life.
What You Can Do
If your child has been affected by any of these situations, you should pay attention to their behavior, to ascertain if they need therapy or another type of medical help. Common signs that something is bothering them are:
● Feeling depressed
● Not interacting with friends and family
● Changes in behavior
● Changes in mood
● Eating too much or not enough
● Sleeping too much or not enough
● Getting into trouble at school
When you notice that your child is experiencing one or more of these signs, it may be time to research what your options are.
For some situations that affect childhood, you may be able to prevent them. To accomplish this, you simply need to be their parent. If you are an attentive and loving parent to your children throughout their lives, this lessens some of the chances of them becoming traumatized. However, this cannot cover instances like death, natural disasters, or genetic predispositions.
Of course, being a caring parent that is willing to listen and talk to your child about how they are feeling and what their needs are might be able to help them have a more productive experience. This could provide benefit in the event that they go through therapy for trauma that could not be prevented. For more information on childhood and how best to care for your child, look at these articles.
Speak With Their Pediatrician
You can speak with your child’s pediatrician to learn more about treatment options for the behaviors your kid is exhibiting. They will likely be able to provide you with a referral for a child psychologist to work with.
Therapy can be effective for a child, regardless of when their trauma occurred. In fact, even a person that utilizes therapy as an adult after one of these instances may be able to see results.
Work With a Therapist
After you contact the therapist that your child’s doctor recommended, you can meet with them and ask for advice. They will likely be able to inform you on treatment options for your child, as there are multiple types available that could be effective.
For example, family therapy and behavioral therapy are commonly used with children, for a number of conditions. As your child goes through therapy, the psychiatrist will be better able to understand what is going on with them, and can prescribe medication to treat symptoms, if this is needed. They may also talk to you about other approaches that are possible.
Although there are many aspects of life that may lead to trauma during childhood, these scenarios could see a benefit from therapy at any point in a person’s life. Consider the above situations and treatment options if you notice a change in your child’s behavior. They may need you to make well-informed decisions about their mental health, so they are able to feel like themselves again.
Sometimes, it may be necessary for other family members to attend therapy as well. This can offer you a chance to build your bond, understand your child better, and be able to interact with them effectively. For these reasons, be sure to talk to a therapist if you suspect your child needs help.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.