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