Coping With Crisis

Helping Teenagers Cope with Trauma

Listen and Give Support

  • Explain what has happened and answer their questions honestly and truthfully.

  • Listen to their words and pay attention to their feelings. Watch their body language.

  • Encourage teens to express their feelings and reactions so you can help them deal with all that is going on inside of them in a safe place.

  • Be patient and supportive and assure them that their reactions are understandable, common and normal. Do not rush their process.

  • Do not be judgmental and punitive. Teens need to feel safe with you, especially when they are feeling scared and hurt.

  • Remember that anyone who goes through a trauma feels scared and vulnerable and needs to feel emotionally safe.

  • Do not tell the teens how they should feel and react. Listen and support them as they share.

  • Tell them what you appreciate about them. Teens need positive support after trauma even more than usual.

Be Understanding and Accepting

  • Concentration and memory are often impaired after trauma and teens may need help getting work done.

  • Understand that teens often want to be with their friends and not their families.

  • Know that teens may exhibit childish, immature behaviors, regress back to earlier stages of development and then act very mature and adult. They are both a child and adult after trauma.

  • Remember that everyone recovers differently from trauma and that teens may seem to be fine at first and then need help later.

Encourage and Be Involved

  • Help teens get back into a routine as soon as possible even if they cannot do all they used to do.

  • Sometimes teens talk better and share more when they are doing activities such as walking, driving, games, sports, hobbies or similar activities. This is especially true for boys.

  • Suggest that they can express their reactions and feelings through writing journals, art, music, drama, dance or other expressive media.

  • Give them appropriate responsibilities and duties, and expect that they will fulfill them. Support them when they do and help them get on track if they don’t.

  • Encourage them to get involved with positive activities with other teens, especially activities they enjoyed before the trauma.

Visit www.tigconsortium.org for more information.

 

The Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs, activities, employment, and admissions; and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: David Leahy, Compliance Officer/Coordinator, at: Email - David.Leahy@hflcsd.org, Telephone - (585) 624-7181, Address - 20 Church Street, Honeoye Falls, NY 14472. Inquiries concerning the application of the Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District non-discrimination policies may also be referred to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), 32 Old Slip, 26th Floor, New York, NY 10005, Telephone (646) 428-3800 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (TTY).

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