Guide for Helping Children Cope After a Crisis

In the aftermath of a traumatic event, to process and heal, children need support tailored to their developmental level and needs. The Child Mind Institute offers a free downloadable resource guide for families and educators created by mental health experts who specialize in crisis situations. It includes information about typical reactions, emotions, and behaviors youth exhibit after experiencing trauma and suggests tools for responding as a parent or an educator.

The guide, titled Helping Children Cope After a Traumatic Event, is organized according to age range (0–2, 3–5, 6–11, and 12–18). It offers simple tips on what to expect, what to do, and what to look out for at each age.

Typical reactions of children aged 6–11, for example, include increased aggression, anger, and irritability (like bullying or fighting with peers). Recommendations include establishing consistent routines, letting the child know it is okay to ask questions, and giving the child reassurance to reduce anxiety. For youth aged 12–18, suggestions include encouraging conversations with peer groups, limiting exposure to media, and being aware of substance abuse.

The free guide is available in English and Spanish.

Share this post: