All children deserve to have safe environments where they can thrive. And as parents and caregivers, we want our children to know they can trust us and tell us anything. When a child’s trust is broken and their environment no longer feels safe, this can have significant ramifications for the child’s life and development.
Childhood trauma is a difficult topic to discuss, in particular the concept of relational trauma. In this podcast we talk with Dan Moss, who has a long history of working in support services with children who have experienced trauma. Dan helps us understand what relational trauma is and how it can affect the mental health and wellbeing of the children in our lives.
Content warning: This podcast includes themes of child abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. If listening to this podcast brings up any difficult feelings for you, please seek help from your mental health professional or one of these crisis or support services.
In this episode you will learn:
- the meaning of relational trauma [00:50]
- how children respond to relational trauma [03:04]
- how parents can show their children they can trust them and the importance of children having a voice [07:14]
- how a parent can help a child cope with trauma [09:10]
- the role a child’s village or community play in supporting them when they have experienced trauma [16:05]
Further information and resources:
- The impact of trauma on the child – This Emerging Minds online course is designed to introduce parents/caregivers (as well as professionals) to the impact of trauma on the child and their family. It includes a discussion of how to provide support through a trauma-informed approach.
- The in utero experience: Trauma before birth – This PDF from the ACT Government provides both professionals and parents/caregivers with helpful explanations of how trauma can impact the child while they are still in utero. Guidance is also provided on what professionals can do to help the child and their family, as well as how parents/caregivers can support their child.
- Traumatic events: supporting children and teenagers afterwards (Raising Children Network)
- Supporting children and young people who have experienced trauma (Be You)