Trauma – a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.
Think for a moment about your child’s life back in 2020. Perhaps it wasn’t perfect, but within a short time, your child was thrown into a whirlwind of being home 24/7. Not being able to see friends or go out to the park, learning without peers, sitting in front of a computer, many faced hours alone as their mom and dad still worked. Some went without food, increased sibling conflict, missed birthday parties, felt fear all around them, not being able to go to church or their favorite store, and then the anger and violence that was unleashed in nearly every city. Most adults can’t comprehend all that is going on, much less a child whose brain isn’t fully developed. Folks, this is trauma. Add another layer of what was released in the atmosphere and the paralyzing fear, worry, and anger that slimed people without notice or warning. Kids feel it too.
While I am not trying to create a doomsday post, there is a reality that this past season has been brutal for some children. The events themselves do not bring damage to children. How adults respond to trauma can make a challenging event a lifelong wound. Your role is KEY! #1. Know your child’s love language and fill it DAILY! Five minutes of intentional “I see you” can fill their heart. #2. Connection – Talking, engaging, asking questions, hugging, smiling, listening, etc. Merely hanging out 24/7 is not the same as actually connecting to their hearts. #3. Joy releases a chemical in our brain that increases our will to fight and endure hard things. Dance parties, giggles, wrestling matches, dinner in the living room, tickling, being silly, special treats, dancing on the bed, or splashing in the rain. Your child NEEDS joy!
I know it is hard to give when you are enduring the same battle, but your response in this hour matters. Help children overcome by filling them up with love, connection, and joy, which are heaven’s tools to overcome.
Validation – recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile. Validation is not trying to move someone out of their space but giving them permission to be where they are at.
It is saying things like: “I am sorry that _____.” “It is not okay that _____.” “It makes me mad that_____.” “You didn’t deserve that.” “That must have been so hard when_____.” “Man, that stinks!” “You are so much more than that.”