Childhood Trauma & Grief: What Next?


Helping Parents and Caregivers with Resources for Children

Last week in the Indianapolis area many school children were introduced to grief in a way that most adults don’t experience until later in life. Children at Amy Beverland Elementary School lost their principal in a tragic bus accident, and students across town in grades K-12 began coping with a suicide.

Over thirty years ago we chose to practice personal injury and wrongful death law. We have witnessed tragedy and grief far too often; but, this also means that we have had the opportunity to provide comfort as well as counsel. People who have lost a loved one, or who need representation after an unfortunate accident, rely on us to help them move forward with their lives. Though we can’t change what happened to create the unfortunate situation, we can work to make sure their tragedy isn’t compounded by a future of hardship.

In the case of last week’s tragedies, school-based support will be available for students; school psychologists are available for counseling, and, they will have resources for families who are experiencing grief. As we know, students will be affected differently based on their developmental level, cultural beliefs, family situation and previous experiences.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers parents and caregivers resources for dealing with trauma, while The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) offers tips such as:

Books for Children Coping With Loss or Trauma

As we know, children can ask a lot of questions and oftentimes those questions are a child’s way of receiving comfort and reassurance. We may not always have the right answers. Websites like NASP also offer tips for using books to engage with children, along with a list of recommended books for children coping with loss or trauma.

One of the best ways to discuss difficult issues with your kids is through books. Age appropriate books, from picture books to more direct stories that encompass death and grief, can be a child’s window to another world. The event may be over but the feelings may persist. Books can be a way for your child to feel comforted and reassured when grief creeps back into their thoughts. Psychologists say books with dark themes can be helpful for kids–whether or not they’ve struggled themselves.

Parents need help too.

One of the benefits to school is that children have a place to go to get back into a routine. If you’re someone who doesn’t go off to a job every day it may be harder to step away from your grief. School counselors often have other additional resources for adults, and local librarians can also make recommendations, since they’re usually aware of what’s happening in the community. Please remember, healing takes time.

At Tabor Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers and staff bring an exceptional level of compassion, experience, and commitment. It is why Tabor Law Firm consistently achieves the best possible results for our personal injury and wrongful death clients. Please call us at (317) 236-9000 for a free consultation, or to learn more about how we can help you get your life back on track after an accident or injury.


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