Building Relationships: Understanding Trauma in Your Child or Teen

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What is Trauma

  • Trauma is an emotional response to an intense event that threatens or causes harm. 
  • The harm can be physical or emotional, real or perceived, and it can threaten your child or someone close to him or her. 
  • Signs of Trauma
  • Difficulty concentrating, learning, or thinking
  • Decreasing grades, lack of involvement in activities
  • Low self-esteem, trust issues, can’t develop attachments
  • Refusal to follow rules, or talking back frequently 
  • Being tired all the time, sleeping much more (or less) than peers having nightmares 
  • Risky behaviors, fighting, aggressive behaviors 
  • Not wanting to spend time with friends 
  • Using drugs or alcohol, running away from home, or getting into trouble
  • Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts

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