Ways to Prevent, Reduce and Prevent Child Trauma in School
Trauma in childhood can impact students’ lives in several ways, from whether they ever want to attend school to whether or not they will ever learn again. Most parents would be hesitant to admit their child was suffering from trauma, but young people who have experienced abuse or witnessed violence in their early years may not seem like healthy or safe people, especially at school.
Children can also miss out on all the fun of school and can feel embarrassed when they are in classes where other children laugh and have fun, instead of listening to their teacher or helping their peers. When trauma exists, children can learn to judge other people who are not suffering, and may even ignore another’s distress.
In a study conducted at Mills College in Oakland, California, participants who had attended schools when they were children and were subsequently exposed to low levels of parental and school involvement demonstrated decreased efficacy, social skills and self-esteem. This article examines ways to prevent and reduce trauma in children who attend school and relates it to schools’ teaching practices.
Struggling With School? You Are Not Alone
According to the Cooper Center in March, Cooper Center is the leading neurobehavioral institute in the country. Nearly 500 studies have been performed since 1973 when the Cooper Center was founded. Cooper Center is the only research center in the country devoted to understanding traumatic brain injury (TBI) and anxiety disorders. Results from the Cooper Center studies, including a recent paper titled “Effective teaching that improves life outcomes: Moderating trauma during the learning-school transition” describe several strategies that give students greater self-esteem, self-confidence and dependability, improving both school functioning and social behavior.
The goal of teaching in this specific way is to teach students how to deal with stress, anxiety and all types of emotions in a manner that is appropriate and healthy for them. According to the research, modeling, which integrates health techniques and other motivational tools, helps students relax in the classroom or at home and forgo looks of anxiety, anger or depression in the work place. Another method is “repowering” students’ self-concept. This entails showing students how they have influence over their own experience of trauma.
Focused training is combined with classwork in order to place trauma-informed instructional practices on a routine basis. All of these methods are taught with the goal of imparting useful skills for everyday life and giving students tools to restore their self-esteem so they can live healthier lives.
Preventing Trauma in Schools
The most effective way to avoid trauma is for the parents to be engaged in their child’s education. However, any adults should work with the schools to ensure trauma prevention. It is also important for the school to have a plan to address the needs of students in troubled areas. The school also needs to be aware of its student population and be transparent about different problems they are dealing with. Schools need to become more aware of the emotional problems caused by stress and have in place teaching practices to help manage stress.
Expectations for students to be academically successful, have good citizenship, know how to talk about their feelings and avoid aggression with peers are important things to keep in mind as an educator and parent. It is important to monitor social functions, behavior and emotional well-being to help children set goals for themselves. Parents should monitor their child’s behavior and stress management, as well as create a relationship that is healthy for both individuals.
In addition, parents and teachers can share frequent conversations with their children about their experiences. They can monitor their school performance by pointing out if there is an event occurring where they feel it would help or be advantageous to talk about. In addition, teachers should be very aware of classes where children are struggling to learn, especially in early grades. In addition, teachers should be aware of when kids have experienced incidents that can be hard to comprehend, like visiting an elementary school where there were a lot of children of different races and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Given the statistics on violent crimes and the prevalence of stress, teachers should be a great resource for young students in learning to manage the stress associated with all of their lives. While physical problems and medical conditions are still a huge issue in America, there are numerous techniques, technologies and tools designed to help children learn to manage their lives. Knowing these techniques and having the knowledge of how to implement them in a positive way will help children manage stressful situations.
Mia is a Registered Nurse and health expert based in San Francisco. For more information on health and wellness visit MaiMia.com.