Wednesday, September 26, 2012

15 Activities to Help a Traumatized Child

  1.        Buy a doll house and toy people/pets that can fit inside. Allow the child to freely play. Children will naturally project their situation onto the toys as they play with them. This type of play can help them process their situation and give you insight into their perspective on their life.
  2.        Ask the child to draw a picture of how they feel and let them know there is no wrong way to draw it. They can scribble, they can draw objects, or they can even write words.
  3.        Ask your child to make up a story with you about a child their own gender. “Let’s make a story about a little girl!” Let the child be the guide for what happens in the story.  This can open the door to have the child talk about what is stressing them out without having to talk about themselves.
  4.        Ask the child to draw a picture of a bad guy.
  5.        Ask the child to draw a picture of their family.
  6.        Ask the child to draw a picture or tell a story about a time when they felt safe/secure and then a time when they didn’t.
  7.        Make a list or draw a picture with your child of ways they are now safe and secure.
  8.        Write a story with your child of their life. Allow them to give details but you can also add details with them.
  9.        If you child is younger you can ask it, “How do you think this stuffed animal would feel if it was you?” If they are older you can ask how their friend would feel.
  10.    Ask the child to draw a picture or make a list of things that make them uncomfortable or unsafe.
  11.    Teach them the difference between safe secrets and bad secrets. Ex: surprise b day party vs not telling that someone did something bad
  12.    Make a list of all the safe people that love your child.
  13.    Make a plan with the child for when they are scared, sad or uncomfortable.
  14.    Ask the child what they would change about their family.
  15.    Ask the child to pick an animal for each member of the family and ask them to explain why they chose it.

When you do these activities make sure you are feeling patient and strong. It would be harmful to the child if they were yelled at for opening up about this type of thing. They need to be met with love, understanding and patience. 

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