Your Role – Parents!
Talking about and modeling healthy relationships will help your children to be happier and healthier through every stage of life.
Resources are here to help you with the issues of childhood exposure to violence.
Your child may be experiencing violence in many ways and you may not know about it; don’t be afraid to ask if you think anything is wrong.
If you were someone who experienced violence as a child and are now a parent, you may be wondering how that can impact your parent role. This Video about Connected Parents is a wonderful start to the answer.
What you can do:
The best way to help children is to make sure that they feel safe (for example, creating a predictable environment, encouraging them to express their feelings by listening and hearing their stories) and ensure that they know that the violence they witnessed or experienced was not their fault. Ways you can help children cope with the impact of exposure to violence include:
- Remaining calm and reinforcing a stable and safe environment;
- Keeping a regular schedule or routine for meals, quiet time, playtime, and bedtime;
- Helping children prepare for changes and new experiences;
- Spending more time together as a family;
- Being patient and letting children identify and express feelings; and
- Providing extra attention, comfort, and encouragement.
- How do you know if more help is needed?
Remember that when something frightening happens everyone has difficulty, including children. This is normal and may go away. But sometimes the impact stays with the child. If your child continues to experience problems after a few weeks or starts having more problems, you may want to talk to someone about how to help your child cope. Do not ignore warning signs! It is natural to hope that your child’s reactions will go away on their own if given enough time, but it is best to take positive action to help your child regain a feeling of safety and trust.
Check out all the Safer Tomorrows School Initiatives that are working to reinforce respect, healthy relationships and stop violence before it starts. Talk to your kids about what they are learning in class and how your family can reinforce the key protective factors of our shared Safer Tomorrows.