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5 Resources Teachers Can Share with Parents to Help Kids Cope With Trauma

When your students are dealing with trauma outside of the classroom, it can impact their ability to learn and succeed inside the classroom. Trauma can come in many forms, like the loss of a loved one, abuse, witnessing violence, or living through a natural disaster. Children who have experienced trauma may struggle with anxiety, depression, and isolation, making it difficult for them to learn and thrive.

Of course, parents should be the main source of support for their children, but that may not always happen. And sometimes, they don't know how to help their child cope with trauma. Since teachers play a memorable role in the lives of students, there is a need for you here as well. You help them learn new skills, navigate challenges, and develop a sense of self. You can share what you know with parents to help them better understand trauma and provide children with support.

Here are five resources teachers can share with parents to help children cope with trauma:

1. National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

The NCTSN is a national organization that provides resources and support to families, educators, and mental health professionals working with children who have experienced trauma. Their website offers a range of resources, including fact sheets, videos, and guides for parents on topics such as how trauma affects children, ways to promote resilience, and strategies for managing behavioral challenges.

The NCTSN also has a directory of local providers specializing in trauma-focused treatment, which parents can use to find a therapist for their child if needed.

2. Child Mind Institute

The Child Mind Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the mental health of children and families. Their website offers a range of resources for parents, including articles, videos, and guides on topics such as anxiety, depression, and trauma. They also have a free online tool called the "Symptom Checker," which allows parents to input their child's symptoms and receive guidance on the next steps, such as talking to a doctor or seeking therapy.

3. Sesame Workshop

Sesame Street in Communities is an initiative by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind the popular children's television show. Their website offers a range of resources for parents and educators on topics such as trauma, resilience, and emotional regulation.

One of their most popular resources is the "Traumatic Experiences Toolkit," which includes videos, activities, and guides for parents and educators to use with children who have experienced trauma. The toolkit features Sesame Street characters like Elmo, a red monster with a funny giggle and high-pitched voice, and Abby Cadabby, a pink-haired fairy in training, making it engaging and relatable for young children.

4. American Psychological Association (APA)

The APA is a national organization that provides resources and support to psychologists, mental health professionals, and the general public. Their website offers a range of resources for parents on topics such as stress management, parenting, and child development. They also have a directory of local psychologists, which parents can use to find a therapist for their child if needed. In addition, the APA offers a free online tool called "Mind/Body Health," which provides resources and strategies for managing stress and improving overall well-being.

5. Your School's Mental Health Team

Most schools have a mental health team, as many educators are concerned about their student's social and emotional learning (SEL). A mental health team or SEL team includes counselors, social workers, and psychologists who are trained to provide support to students who are experiencing mental health challenges, including trauma.

Connect parents with your school's SEL team and encourage them to reach out for support. This team can provide resources, such as counseling services, support groups, and referrals to community resources in the student's area.

Support One Another

At the end of the day, it's important to build a partnership with parents. Teachers are the link between home and school. Teachers can help parents by communicating openly and regularly about a child's behavior and academic progress. Parents need access to these critical resources without judgment. Schools can offer practical strategies for parents to use at home, like creating a calm and predictable environment or engaging in self-care practices.

By working together, teachers and parents can create a supportive network for students who can overcome the effects of trauma.

Written by Deborah Andrus
Education World Contributor
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