What do you think of when you hear the word “trauma”?

In medical speaking, serious injury is often called “trauma,” such as head trauma from a car crash. 

But mental trauma is very real, too. Our brains aren’t just like arms or legs — they control every aspect of how we function. And, while the brain is invisible from the outside, traumatic experiences can alter it. 

This is especially true for children, whose brains are still developing and impressionable.

In brain scans, there’s evidence of emotional trauma’s harmful effects. This supports that such trauma is bad for the child’s developing brain. For example, a child who has experienced trauma often has a smaller brain. This will affect the child for their whole life, because those key experiences can’t be reversed. 

Knowing this can help us understand children a little better.

While your child’s brain is undergoing dramatic growth, they’re especially vulnerable to emotional trauma.

How can you tell if your child experienced emotional trauma? She might become clingy, getting upset when she has to separate from you. Maybe he can’t remember something important that happened — he’s having memory issues. Alternatively, your child could be having constant meltdowns and tantrums. This is a sign that they’re struggling to control emotions, which can be a result of emotional trauma.

If this is the case, know that there might be an underlying experience that harmed that child’s development.

Take an approach of understanding, empathy, and patience. Your child’s brain depends on it.

For information on how Coronavirus might affect our kids’ development, look here

What research can you do, or have you done, about your child’s development?

By Laila Alexander (Regular Guest Blogger)