At Flaxman Law Group, our attorneys often deal with families caught up in catastrophic situations. We have worked with families changed by serious truck accidents, fires, and even natural disasters. One of the most upsetting outcomes in these situations is the way trauma can affect children and teenagers.
If your child is seriously injured, you may not be surprised to find they struggle in dealing with their injury. But even if you or another member of your family are injured, children may pick up on tension and changes in family dynamics, potentially experiencing stress and trauma as a result – even if they are not directly injured themselves.
Here are a few ways to help the younger members of your family deal with a serious injury or trauma:
1) Get your child or teen to a doctor if they witnessed or were directly injured in a serious incident.
If your child suffered a sports injury or any injury, get a full medical evaluation, even if they seem fine. There may be injuries that don’t have any obvious symptoms right away but still need medical treatment. If your child has seen a traumatic event – such as a car accident – you may also want them to talk to a counselor about the situation.
2) Talk to your child about the situation.
Your child may have questions or may need to express feelings such as anger, fear, or upset. Talk to your child about the injury or accident and allow them to ask any questions. Encourage them to express sadness or any other feelings.
3) Heal together as a family.
Staying together and relying on a family can be important if your family has been affected by a birth injury, workplace accident, or other serious trauma. You may even want to reach out to community services in Hollywood and surrounding South Florida communities; many groups exist to offer support to those who are dealing with grief.
When your children see you taking steps to get better and to deal with trauma, they have a positive model for their own situation. Healing together also lets you draw strength from each other and shows your children and teens they can turn to family if they need help.
4) Get children to talk to their peers.
There are support groups especially for teens and families facing trauma. It can be useful for your children to talk to others their own age who are struggling with some of the same issues, since it can help your children feel less alone.
5) Stay alert for signs of trouble.
If your child or teen shows signs of sleep disturbances, personality changes, problems with grades, withdrawn behavior, behavioral problems, sudden changes in eating patterns, and loss of interest in hobbies, contact a doctor. Your child may be struggling with anxiety, confusion, or even depression and may need some additional support.
At Flaxman Law Group, our attorneys believe in supporting families after a serious injury. If someone in your family has suffered a serious injury, contact us for a free evaluation to find out what legal avenues may be open to you.