Childhood Trauma: Helping Them Cope With A Traumatic Event





Protecting Against Childhood Trauma

Children want to be safe! They Need to be. But as hard as we try we can't ever completely protect them against childhood trauma.

Don't we all want to be safe? But the bush fires here in Victoria, Australia, where almost 200 people lost their lives and thousands of homes and properties were affected if not destroyed, raised the need to be more aware of children trying to manage the traumatic.

I don't think there was a single person that was not affected in some way by these bush fires. We all seemed to know someone who were or have friends that knew someone that was.

I am trained in grief counseling and I was having trouble dealing with it, so I was acutely aware that my judo students would also be trying to deal with it in their own way.

I remember with great clarity the World Trade Center on September 11. I remember the fear that particularly some of the younger Judo students were expressing. I was so concerned about it that I wrote some prose call "Sometimes". I didn't think it very good but it did seem to help.

One of the reasons that I teach the Protective Behaviors Program is because I don't care how fantastic you are at self defense, bad stuff will happen to you and you have to know how to deal with it. I don't think that there is anything that can beat the premise of "nothing is so awful that I can't tell somebody about it".

picture smoldering bush and trees after a bush fire
Victorian Bush Fire
What I found surprising, was the way the students were coping with the bush fires. I don't know whether it was because it was in their own back yard or it was just because everybody was mobilized to be able to do something, even if it was only to give money to the Bush fire appeal. I do know that people are more able to deal with things if they can take action. After all that is why Self Defense is so popular and it is why I teach a Physical Syllabus of Self Defense. Never-the-less it was a relief to me that I did not have to spend most of the class dealing with peoples fear as I did with 9/11. That is not to say there were no fears only that they were being managed.

Which leads me to the reason for this entry in my blog. I believe that any person who deals with children has a responsibility to know how to help them through childhood trauma and grief, especially if you are going to teach self defense, and so I spend time researching to make sure my information is up to date.

Learning how to help people through grief and trauma, in most cases, is not the specialist field that most of us would like to make it out to be. In fact I think that often we use that excuse to protect ourselves rather than to help the other person going through their difficulty. Mostly its only a matter of having a listening ear.

In my research, came across this article "Helping children cope with a traumatic event" that I thought was very useful for the lay person. I think that it deserves a read if you are a Judo coach or any body that deals with or has children.

The funny thing is that in helping others we usually help ourselves. Perhaps that is why I like teaching judo so much . After all it is about mutual welfare and benefit isn't it!

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