Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Helping Your Child Recover

Here are some ways parents can help their abused children during their recovery process:

  • Buy an extra large stuffed animal to live on the couch that your child can cuddle with whenever they want.
  • Color pictures together.
  • Keep your normal routines as much as possible.
  • Never complain about taking them to counseling.
  • Keep discipline as normal as possible.
  • Exercise together as a family to reduce stress.
  • Be willing to listen.
  • Don't pull away if the kid wants to be held or hugged or to sit on your lap more than usual. Healthy touch is reassuring and healing.
  • Expect and accept any temporary regressions in behavior.
  • Let the child initiate conversations as they want.
  • Keep the child safe from situations that might tempt them to hurt others. Such as no sleepovers for awhile if the child was sexually abused.
  • Don't talk about the abuse with others on the phone or in person within their hearing.
  • If the child realizes you've told their teacher or their grandparents about the abuse, acknowledge that you did tell this trusted person who cares about them--but give reassurance that you aren't running around telling everyone.
  • Respect your child's boundaries of when to talk and when not to.
  • Trust your child's play--even if it is strange for awhile. As long as they aren't hurting themselves or others playing things out is a child's way of processing.
  • If you have a child who is cutting themselves.Get them to counseling and do what you can to limit their opportunities. Cutting can be a way of blocking unwanted feelings and memories.
  • If your child isn't sleeping, try increasing the time for the bedtime routine. Don't get angry if your child moves around the house at night trying to feel safe. Give your child reassurance and ask a counselor for suggestions.
  • If your adolescent or teen starts doing harmful behaviors in an attempt to cope, set limits to keep them safe and give consequences as needed, but be careful not to heap on shame. Show compassion for their stress and redirect them toward healthier and more helpful ways of dealing with their feelings.
  • Acknowledge your child's courage.
  • Don't ignore behavior that is crying out for attention. Re-direct and reassure as makes sense.
  • Get support for yourself too. It is stressful to walk through recovery from abuse. If you're well-supported you'll be able to give more to your child.

No comments:

Recommended Books

  • 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing
  • A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner
  • Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
  • Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw
  • Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar
  • Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune
  • Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden
  • Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good
  • The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell
  • The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
  • The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
  • Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green
  • When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson
  • Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft