Helping Your Child Cope With Living in a Scary World

Is your child scared of school shootings, tornadoes, climate change, and on and on? Do you want to learn how to help them not get stuck in these fears? Join us as we talk with Dr. Melissa Goldberg Mintz is a clinical psychologist based in Houston, Texas.  She is the author of the book, Has Your Child Been Traumatized: How to Know and What to Do to Promote Healing and Recovery.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The world feels scary.
    • Covid
    • School shootings
    • Police shootings
    • Weather event
    • Wildfires
  • Our kids are struggling.
    • Pediatric mental health hospitalizations have increased and intensified. More than eight in 10 public schools have seen stunted behavioral and social-emotional development in their students since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 57 percent of teen girls and 29 percent of teen boys reported feeling “persistently sad or hopeless” over the past year.
  • Many of the children being raised by the parents in our audience have experienced trauma before, but it feels like more kids are being shaken by current events.
  • Is there a distinction between trauma with a “T” and little “t” trauma?
  • How do we know if our child has been traumatized, regardless of whether it is an event outside of their personal world or an event that they are involved in?
  • What are the symptoms of trauma and how to they vary by age of the child? (pre-school, school-aged, adolescents)
  • Why do some kids seem to take all the troubling world events in stride while others struggle? And why do some kids seem to bounce back quickly from troubling events that happen to them directly? What makes a child resilient? 
  • The top question on most parents’ mind is, “Will my child be OK?”
  • What can parents do to help when their child is struggling with coping with all the scary things in our world?
  • It’s tempting to be lenient and not enforce rules when we see our child struggling. Is this the best approach?
  • What life skills can parents teach that will help their child be more resilient and able to cope with scary world events?
  • How do we know if our child is stuck and not moving past their fears with our help?
  • What types of therapy are available and how can parents decide which one would be best for their child?

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth

Podcast Producer: Megown SoundWorks

Image Credit: Tanya Gorelova