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vulnerable citizens in our society,
a life free of violence and fear."
-Nelson Mandela

PEI Kids > What You Need to Know > Parents & Caregivers > Trauma, Loss & Depression: Tips for Parents & Caregivers

Trauma, Loss & Depression: Tips for Parents & Caregivers

We all worry. Children will worry. And it is astounding what children worry about – everything from peer pressure to finances to romance. Telling a child not to worry about these things, because they are too young and should enjoy their childhood, does not work very often.

So, what are your kids worrying about? Get ready, and maybe you should sit down! They worry about money. Some children worry about having enough money to get into college, help out their parents in the home, or buy a car when they’re older.

Others worry about fitting in and if people will like them. They think about how they look. Am I thin enough? Should I start wearing make up? Is my Red Sox jersey ok to wear? Is it ok to eat that cupcake or will it make me fat?

They even worry about their sexuality and romance. Kids worry about the young boys or girls they like and being intimate with that person.

So as parents, should you be nervous and overreact? Absolutely not.Here’s some suggestions about how to react. First, listen and empathize by letting your child know that these worries and feelings are normal, and it is ok that they worry about these things. Believe it or not, your child will begin to feel comfortable and continue to talk to you, if they come to know you are not disappointed in them (they do worry about disappointing you too!!!).

Secondly, educate your child. Often times, children are confused and look to their parents for guidance. In the least judgmental and non-threatening way you can think of, help your child better understand their topic of concern.

Finally, help them discover and then provide an outlet for their nervous worry and energy. Take your child for walks, have him or her write down the worries and put them in a box, get the child involved in sports, music, art or whatever it is that your child is interested in. Some clinicians even have their students use meditation and yoga for relaxation!

Try to remember, children want the best out of themselves and want to be proud of themselves. More importantly, they want their parents to be proud of them. Listen, guide, support and educate your children. Be with your child where he or she is intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Simply put- live in the moment with your child.

Funding for depression screening for clients involved in our Crisis Intervention for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse Program is provided by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.

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