In the first month after a traumatic event, it’s normal for children and adolescents to feel down. For example, they can be sad, no longer enjoy things or activities and can more often be tired and exhausted. Attempts by parents to cheer their children up usually don’t succeed or are successful only in the short-term.
Sadness, frequent crying
- Explain to your child that it’s normal to be sad after a traumatic event.
- Calm your child and tell them that the event is over now and that they are safe again.
- Sometimes children and adolescents find it difficult to say what’s upsetting them. Describe feelings like anger, sadness or fear and ask your child which of these feelings they have. You can, for example, draw emojis or smileys for different feelings on a paper.
- Don’t urge your child to speak about the traumatic event but let them know that they can speak about their worries and fears with you at any time.
- Sympathize with your child if they prefer to be at home or don’t want to meet their peers.
- Nevertheless, encourage and help your child to meet friends and to go outdoors again as soon as possible.
- Help your child to take up their regular hobbies (sports, etc.) and outdoor activities again.