Parents tell about their children’s recovery from trauma

A child has been injured in an accident. Or has witnessed a suicide. Or has been assaulted on the way home from school. What is parents’ story when such a thing happens? How do they describe the recovery of their child? And what can we learn from their experiences?

We spoke in-depth with the parents of 25 children who had been through varied types of trauma, including serious road traffic accidents, witnessing murder, sexual assault, the loss of a sibling, and an explosion at home. The events had happened at least 6 months previously and the children were between 8 and 12 years old at the time of the interview.

Even though our questions mainly regarded the child’s recovery, parents talked a lot about their own role in this recovery. In particular, they spoke about two elements of their parenting. The first concerned becoming aware of the child’s needs. Parents tried to figure out what would be normal reactions to the event and to what extent their child showed those or more severe reactions. They used various strategies, including: Continue reading

Top 5 online resources for children and parents after trauma, and more…

Set off by the tragic events in Norway in July 2011, I started a somewhat frantic search for websites on posttraumatic recovery designed for youths and parents.



The criteria: the information and tips should be 1) evidence-informed, 2) written for an audience of children/adolescents or parents, 3) easily accessible, 4) freely available, and preferably 5) interactive.

Those are tough criteria. There are not many resources that tick all the boxes, but they do exist.

My top 5 (biased by the languages I speak and some chauvinism…) is: Continue reading

Current projects on children’s trauma recovery

Within Monash Injury Research Institute (MIRI, Australia) we conduct several research and dissemination projects focusing on children’s trauma recovery. Our purpose is to build knowledge about how we can support children after traumatic events and to translate this knowledge into practical tools. We collaborate intensively with emergency professionals, university departments (within and outside of Monash University), and community organizations for this purpose. Currently, our main project topics regard: Continue reading