Understanding the Difference Between Trauma and Stress in Kids

Stress is a normal part of everyone’s lives, kids included, but they can have some difficulty in managing it and may therefore need some guidance. As parents, we can help them release some of that stress by talking about the problem or taking some time to do activities that help them destress.

Trauma, however, should not be a normal part of a kid’s life. It’s disruptive, destructive, and should be dealt with sensitively. A traumatic event can be one or a series of happenings that threaten a child’s life or causes horror and helplessness during the event, and it heavily impacts the way the child thinks and sees the world.

Unfortunately, trauma is more common than not in children. It affects how a child’s brain develops. Traumatised children can have a ruined sense of safety, and they have more trouble managing their emotions and behaviours. They can also develop new fears, frequent nightmares, and separation anxiety, and even develop mental illnesses, the more common ones being depression and anxiety.

Everyone experiences varying levels of stress every day, but trauma negatively impacts a child’s life. Thankfully, trauma is treatable. If you think your child is experiencing trauma, please seek professional help.

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